Chicken Pot Pie

For this college celiac, January is all about the comfort food. Creamy banana ice cream, gooey oatless oatmeal and savory sweet potato sliders dominate my weekly meal plan. Lately, though, chicken pot pie is demanding equal plate time.

The horror! (Insert sarcastic wink here). 

A stiff competition!
I'll admit that pre-diagnosis, I'd never tried the heaven that is a chicken pot pie. After falling face-first into Coquette's gluten free version, though, I knew I needed to recreate my own heaven-a-bowl. A healthier, easier version to be exact. 

And, as soon as I bit into my first spoonful a few weeks ago, I knew there was no going back. Softened potatoes and veggies, juicy chicken, and a creamy sauce all blanketed with a crunchy whole-grain crust? I usually bake a family-size portion in a 9X9 cake pan...and this one person "family" devours it within a week. Oops. 

All gone...
I use this vegan and this paleo chicken pot recipe for inspiration, playing with the ingredients until I discovered a flavor packed - but gluten, dairy, egg, and nut free - masterpiece perfect for those chilly winter nights! 

To whip up your own magic pie, all you need are these ingredients:

For the Crust (this only makes a top crust, so double if also want a bottom one):
175 grams of your own whole grain flour mix (using Shauna's flour instructions and ratio. I personally like a mixture of rice, buckwheat, millet and tapioca flour.)
Around 100 grams of cold (mostly solid) coconut oil, Earth Balance vegan butter, or regular butter 
1/4 cup of cold water
A liberal dose of your favorite seasonings (I am keeping the sales of thyme, oregano, salt and parsley alive and well)  

For the pie filling:
1-2 pre-cooked chicken breasts (or alternative meats/meat substitutes) 
1 to 1.5 potatoes (white or sweet)
2 cups mixed veggies, such as chopped zuchinni and squash, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, cabbage, snow peas, green beans, peas, carrots, etc. (Rather than following an exact measurement, I pack as much veggies into my pan as will fit!)
Cooking oil (olive, coconut, etc) 

For the sauce:
1 cup chicken/vegetable stock 
1/4 cup coconut flour (or other gluten free alternative)
1-2 TBSP olive oil 
Liberal dose of seasoning

Start your chicken pot pie adventure by prepping the crust. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mixing the flour, spices, and coconut oil before adding the water. If the mix is too dry, don't be afraid to add a little extra water. Form into a ball and place in the fridge to chill

Your crust will look something like this! (Source)
Borrowed pic since a hungry college student forgot to take her own!
Then the real fun starts: the filling! First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, chop up all the vegetables and toss them into a large pot with enough oil to properly sauté for about 5-10 minutes or until softened but not fully cooked through.

In a separate pot, throw together your sauce. Begin by heating the pan on high-medium, lowering the heat to a simmer after adding the oil, stock, spices and flour. Keep stirring until it thickens, adding more flour or chicken stock as needed to gain the desired consistency. (If you're a space-limited college student like me who's rockin' the kitchen with one pot, cook the vegetables, pour them in the pan with the chicken, and then make your sauce). As these cook, rescue the flour from the fridge to defrost for a few minutes.

Once the vegetables are softened and the sauce is thick, combine them and the chicken either in a large pot or a baking dish, stirring to equally distribute all the ingredients. Then take the dough of ball and flatten it into a crust using your hands or a rolling pin and extra flour. As you flip it to cover the top of your baking dish and filling, don't worry if it cracks! It tastes just as delicious applied in patches versus a whole sheet - trust me.

Love comes in all crust shapes and sizes!
After a final sprinkling of spices and oil on the top, pop it into the oven. I usually bake mine first for thirty minutes at 425 F, and then for another 15-25 minutes at 375 F. Once the crust browns and the juices start bubbling, it's done! (Though my fellow dormmates' question, "Are you the one making the kitchen smell so good?" also helps.) 

Once your pie is perfected, you can devour a slice straight from the oven (even when I bake it late at night for class the next day, I can never resist a couple bites!) or reheat it later on. I've hoarded the leftovers wrapped in tinfoil in my fridge for a week, and ate every serving with equal enthusiasm.
Amidst the craziness of January - returning to work, a new semester at school, flu season and those pesky resolutions you promised to stick to - everyone deserves some comfort food. Even if you get zombified from gluten, hurt after dairy, and don't have room in your dorm fridge for eggs! 

*Also found at RunningwithSpoon's link party and VegetarianMama!*

What's your favorite comfort food? What is the favorite recipe you've "recreated" gluten/allergen free? Comment below! 


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