Monday, September 16, 2013

Creamy Paleo Chicken Pot Pie (Recipe Revisit)

As soon as it's brisk enough to need a long-sleeve top to run in the mornings, I think of it as chicken pot pie weather. I was never a fan of the kind found in the frozen food aisle, and even before paleo I thought the dish was a little heavy. My version, however, really hits the spot!

I had intended to present to you a coconut flour crust, but I just wasn't happy with the two I tested out. There's a natural sweetness to coconut flour, and I didn't like it counterbalanced with the savory filling. I will have to work on it some more, though, as I much prefer to bake without nuts.

The crust is about as simple as it gets, and one of the favorite recipes/techniques I picked up from Paleo Comfort Foods. For the filling, however, I came up with my own dairy-free creamy sauce that is thick and delicious.

You can vary the vegetables you include in the filling. I like to throw mushrooms in when I'm not cooking for my kids, but do think carrot and celery are must-haves. I also prefer this with chopped chicken thighs as opposed to breast, but again it's up to you.

My biggest change in this revisit? To not cook the chicken beforehand. Why? Well, in all honesty I forgot. But rather than get flustered, I reworked the baking method and actually found it to be a tweak that makes weeknight preparation that much easier. If you're using cooked chicken, reduced baking time to 35-40 minutes and don't cover with tin foil.
Creamy Paleo Chicken Pot Pie (Recipe Revisit)

filling:
2 tbs. olive oil, divided
5 minced garlic cloves, divided
1/2 tsp. paprika (omit if nightshade-free)
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 cups organic chicken broth
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 tbs. coconut aminos
1 tbs. tapioca or arrowroot starch
salt & pepper, to taste
1-2 cups chopped carrot
1-2 cups chopped celery
1/2 large chopped onion
2-3 cups chicken thighs or breast, cut into small chunks

crust (from Paleo Comfort Foods):
2 cups almond meal or flour
1/2 cup mild olive oil
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Put 1 tbs. olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, paprika, thyme, broth, cashews, aminos and starch into a high-powered blender. Process until smooth and season with salt and pepper.

Heat remaining tbs. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped carrot, celery, onion and 3 remaining minced garlic cloves. Cook for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add chicken and cashew mixture to pan, stirring to combine. Allow to cook on the stovetop for another 10 minutes.

While filling is cooking, prepare the crust. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Pour mixture into greased ramekins (or a large baking dish). If you have the time, you can roll the crust out on wax paper. I like to simply pick up a ball of "dough," pat it into a flat circle in my hand, and
then place on top of my filled ramekins. It's okay if it's not even or cracks and crumbles a bit. It will taste exactly the same!

Cover ramekins with foil and bake for 50 minutes, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes. 

2 comments:

  1. I gave this a go. The flavor was good - very rich, but my topping melted into the casserole and basicly just left a pool of olive oil on top and my veggies were largely overcooked... Fail! I'll have to try it again!

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    1. so sorry about your oil slick! What kind of almond flour did you use? That might have been a factor. I also find the crust holds especially well on the small ramekins rather than a big casserole dish.

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