We’ve made many friends along the way in the celiac and gluten-free community. Our friends include a mix of bloggers, chefs, nutritionists, those living with celiac disease, along with their friends and family, and many more. We are excited by all the stories and experiences we have heard about over the last year that we want to share them with you. Each week we will host a guest blogger to share their insights, recipes, and stories.
Our first guest blogger, and good friend to Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery, is Paul Biscione. Paul is an avid cook, father and husband to two lovely gluten-free gals, author of the cookbook Loving Food Again, and writer for his blog Food Living and Everything Else.
GF Cornbread Topped Chicken Pot Pie by Paul Biscione
When it comes to comfort food, there is little competition for the almighty Chicken Pot Pie. It sticks to every rib you have, fills you up and leaves a silly satisfied looking grin on your face after you eat it. It is a one dish meal complete with veggies, meat and of course that awesome pie crust. And while all of these things combined make for a perfect meal, my wife and daughter cannot chow down on this comfort food as it is loaded with gluten. Besides the pie crust, the filling uses regular all purpose flour to thicken it, both of which contain gluten. So like all other gluten containing foods that my daughter and wife cannot have, I find that this just won’t do. The little voice in my head that says “you have been challenged” goes off…so I get to work.
As usual, my love for my girls lends to my utter determination to bang out a gluten free version of a dish identical to its gluten containing counterpart, which most people who have no allergies or intolerances can enjoy readily. I am not going to lie here, my goal in life is to make foods everyone can enjoy regardless of what issues they may have. Heck, if I had a restaurant and someone came in with a list of food restrictions I would still find a way to make them some sort of version of what they want. What can I say, I want to make sure no one goes hungry ever.
At first, I thought this recipe would be a no brainer for me, but I was wrong. The issue does not lie in the filling, but in the pie crust. As you may recall, I have said many times” I don’t bake” and that has not changed much over the last few months. So without the pie crust, what is a pot pie really? Then I remembered that recently I have had been in communication with Cybele Pascal, who is a baker and cookbook author, who helped me resolve an issue I was having with cornbread. Long story short, I was using the wrong gluten free flour, she put me on the right path and my family has been enjoying gluten, dairy and egg free cornbread for a while now. So instead of making a pot pie with a traditional pie crust, I decided to go with a cornbread topped version. This allowed me to make this pot pie without having to do any pie crust kneading or primping. Just make the filling, pour on the topping and bake it!
This version of chicken pot pie will also be dairy, egg, soy and nut free as well as gluten free. I am using rice milk and coconut milk in place of regular milk, however you can use regular milk in equal parts to what I use to make this and it will come out the same (coconut milk is not considered a nut. If it is to you do not use it).
Cornbread Topped Chicken Pot Pie
- 2 cups Chicken Stock
- 1 cup Rice Milk
- ½ cup So Delicious Coconut Milk; unsweetened
- 2 boneless skinless Chicken Breasts; cooked, cooled and then cubed into about 1 inch pieces
- ½ cup Gluten Free Flour
- 1 medium Onion; diced
- 1 ½ cups Carrots; diced (into about 1 inch pieces)
- ¼ cup Celery; diced (into about 1 inch pieces)
- 1 cup Peas; frozen
- 4 fresh sprigs of Thyme; or ¾ tsp dried Thyme
- 6 tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
DO FIRST: make your chicken breasts ahead of time. Fill a pot of water big enough to fit the 2 chicken breasts, bring the pot to a boil and boil the breasts for 8 minutes. Turn the flame off and leave the breasts in the pot covered for another 5 minutes. Remove them from the water and let cool in the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes (or overnight). This makes them easy to cube.
1. Preheat the oven to 400°
2. In a large pot over a medium-low flame, sauté the onions, carrots, celery and thyme in 6 tbsp of olive oil until soft; about 5 minutes (if using fresh thyme, remove them after the veggies have sweat before going to the next step).
3. Add the flour and stir it around to combine with the vegetables; about 30 seconds.
4. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the chicken stock and stir to dissolve the flour into the liquid until smooth.
5. Lower the heat to medium and add the rice milk and coconut milk until combined with the mixture and starts to thicken; about 2 minute.
6. Let mixture sit in the pot covered until you make the cornbread topping (See Cybele Pascal’s Cornbread recipe below)
7. After cornbread topping has been made, pour chicken pot pie mixture into a 9” x 13” baking dish.
8. Pour ¾ of the cornbread topping batter directly on top of the chicken pot pie mixture in the baking dish. Use a spatula and gently spread the batter out to cover the filling. You are looking for a thin layer of batter (do not use all the batter or the topping will be too thick).
9. Bake on the bottom rack at 400° for 35 minutes (or until the top is slightly browned).
Cornbread Batter for Pot Pie (courtesy of Cybele Pascal)
- 1 cup Gluten Free Flour (King Arthur GF Multi Purpose Flour)
- ¾ cup Yellow Corn Meal
- ½ tsp Xanthan Gum
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- ¾ tsp Baking Soda
- 1 ¾ cups Rice Milk
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 tsp Honey
- 3 tsp Energy Egg Replacer mixed with 4 tbsp Rice Milk
- ¼ cup Canola Oil
1. Combine rice milk, lemon juice and honey and whisk well and let stand for 10 minutes.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda, baking powder.
3. In a small bowl, combine egg replacer with 4 tbsp rice milk and whisk until dissolved. Add the egg replacer mixture to the rice milklemon mixture along with canola oil.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth.
PLEAE NOTE: The recipe ingredients above are courtesy of Cybele Pascal. Her full recipe and how to make this cornbread on its own are on her website and can be found at the link below in my resource section.
ADDITIONALLY: as I only use ¾ of the cornbread batter, I do not waste the extra cornbread mixture. I put the remaining mixture into greased muffin tins and bake along with the pot pie (same cooking time would apply).
Cooking Quick Tip: When I make this recipe I like to be organized because I am working with two different recipes. Before I start on my chicken pot pie filling, I put all of the dry ingredients for the cornbread together in a mixing bowl and all other wet ingredients premeasured and waiting for me. It allows me to leave the pot pie filling on the stove and whip up the cornbread batter in no time at all with less mess.
Cybele Pascal: http://www.cybelepascal.com/