Gluten Free Comfort Food: Chicken Pot Pie & More
Since moving back to Texas from the Napa Valley, California area, we have had several days of ice, but no REAL snow. Today is that day and comfort food is definitely on the menu. But what to do when you didn't quite make it to the store in time? I'm going to give you my favorite pantry-friendly comfort food meals. (I'm giving you my hacks for what to do when you don't have something.) And then, if you're feeling a bit more adventurous, I'm giving you my new family favorite recipe - Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pies.
Comfort Food from Your Pantry
Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese - The grilled cheese can take any shape from the usual to quesadillas if you don't have bread. As for the soup, here is a classic tomato soup recipe using canned tomatoes and boxed chicken stock. Sub any gluten-free flour for the whole wheat flour or use cornstarch stirred into a small amount of water. Don't have cream, dissolve a little more constarch in almond milk, unsweetened yogurt or milk. This will keep the milk from separating. Oh, and feel free to leave out the bacon if you don't have it.
Pasta Carbonara - Pasta is the ultimate comfort food and this recipe uses basic ingredients to create a restaurant worthy meal. Here is a very basic step-by-step recipe that will give you a plate of deliciousness this evening! Obviously, use gluten-free pasta if you are so inclined, and if you must leave out the bacon, use olive oil or a mixture of butter and oil.
Mac n Cheese - Yes, it's another pasta, but again I say, pasta is the ultimate! This recipe can be made up to step 6 and then eaten right away, or transfer to a baking dish and finish with the crumb topping.
Blondies - Blondies, brownies or any baked good for that matter definitely fall into the comfort food category. I crave a chewy baked good when it's cold. These Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Blondies are healthy and they are pantry-friendly. Use peanut butter instead of almond butter and nuts instead of chocolate chips.
Comfort Food from Scratch:
Chicken Pot Pie
It's a three part process. First make the crust following the directions below (or you can of course use your favorite pie crust recipe). Second, make the filling. Third, assemble
I have the hardest part detailed with photos. The rolling, cutting and assembly need a bit more explanation than the simple filling .
Make the Crust
This happens to be the crust I use for everything from pecan pie to apple galette to these beautiful little creatures. It's from a website called Mennonite Girls Can Cook. It makes enough for two crusts so you can either do like I do and save half for another time (which as I'm writing I'm contemplating pulling out the other half and making it again today.) then make mini pies with only a top crust; you can make one double crust traditional pie (double filling ingredients) or you can make two single pies with top crust only. For the mini pies, I use 4 oz ramekins and it makes about 8 with only half the crust.
Roll out the crust between rice flour dusted parchment.
For the mini pies, you will want to cut out circles about one inch bigger than the dishes you are using.
I just use a knife to cut and use the larger baking dish as my pattern.
Remove the excess dough (this is the easiest way to get to the gluten free dough...it's a bit sticky). Then use a spatula to scrape up each circle as you need it. (You may want to refrigerate the dough for a few minutes before cutting to help loosen it from the parchment.)
Make the filling. No pictures, just follow the directions below.
Assemble and bake.
Place a pastry circle on top of each pie.
Crimp the pastry around the ramekin and press down to seal.
Sprinkle with herbs, pepper and sea salt
Bake at 375 degrees for at least 30 minutes or until crust is completely done.
IGF Chicken Pot Pie
This is a little more complicated than the other ideas, but it's totally worth it. The crust is adapted from Mennonite Girls Can Cook and it is for Gluten Free Pastry. I use only butter and it works great.
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)
- 1 cup sweet rice flour
- dash of sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- rounded teaspoon of xanthan gum
- 1 cup butter, frozen
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 4 tbsp ice water
- sweet rice flour for rolling
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup carrot, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp sweet rice flour
- 2 tsp Italian herb seasoning or 2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup cream, half n half or milk
- sea salt and pepper
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1 cup frozen peas
Make the Crust
- Whisk together the flours, xantham gum, salt and sugar very well.
- Grate the frozen butter into the flour and whisk again to incorporate into the flour and form little pebbles.
- Whisk the egg then add vinegar and ice-water.
- Stir into flour mixture forming a ball. (Add a little more water if too dry)
- You may knead this a bit since rice flour crust can stand handling. Knead until you have a smooth soft ball.
- Roll out between wax paper dusted with lots of sweet rice flour.
- To make one traditional big pie, divide the dough in half and make a top and bottom crust. (You could also double the filling and make two single crust pies.)
- I like to make mini versions, though, so we roll out half the dough and cut out circles that are slightly bigger than the baking dishes.
Make the Filling
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan and saute the vegetables (except peas) until tender. Add the flour and cook for a minute or two then add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth. When it is smooth, gradually add the remaining chicken broth until a thick sauce has formed. Stir in the cream and the herbs. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.Stir in chicken and peas.
- Evenly divide the mixture between baking dishes for minis or transfer into bottom crust for the big version. Lay the crust on top then crimp the edges to mold to the baking dishes. Sprinkle the top with sea salt, pepper and herbs.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the crust is done. If making a double crust big pie, bake for 50 minutes to an hour.