I’ve come to the conclusion that the secret to staying on a good eating plan is to not feel deprived. I’m guessing that most of you would agree. And most of you would also say that this is easier said than done. I used to be right there with you.
Just like everyone else, I like my sweets but don’t like it when I find myself going down a slippery slope. I’m also a sucker for comfort foods-things like chicken pot pies, breads, cobblers, and mashed potatoes. These dishes usually call for ingredients that are inflammatory and spike blood sugar levels which we want to avoid.
I’ve been playing around a bit and I’ve found that I can easily turn the comfort foods that our moms made into new mouthwatering Paleo, gluten-free-versions that won’t spike blood sugar, irritate the digestive system, or overwork the immune system.
There’s a bit of a learning curve with these make-overs, but once you’ve committed to trying a new way of doing things, it quickly becomes second nature. One needs to be willing to adventure into the world of non-gluten and grain-free flours, become familiar with root vegetables, and learn how to make gravies with cauliflower and egg yolks. None if this is hard to do-just different.
The Chicken Pot Pie featured here is all about that. I’ve combined three pot pie recipes to come up with this one gem. It’s Paleo-compliant and more than satisfies the need for comfort food.
The crust is made with fresh-grass-fed butter and almond flour that literally melts in your mouth. The tapioca flour adds just enough starch to hold this delicate crust together while adding a little more flavor. It’s not a picture-perfect crust and is a bit tricky to work with, but its well worth it.
I like serving this with red cabbage coleslaw to add a bit of color and crunch. See that recipe here.Read more
P.S. We’ve got rain and cooling temps in the forecast so the timing for this is perfect!
Paleo Chicken Pot Pie (serves 4-6)
Important Note: You’ll want to prepare the crust at least 1 hour ahead of time or the night before. The dough needs to be very cold to roll out.
For the Crust:
2 cups blanched almond flour
½ cup tapioca flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp Real salt
½ cup chilled butter grass fed butter ( I like Kerrygold)
2 Tbsp cold water
1 egg white (save the yolk for the filling)
1 small head of cauliflower (5 cups florets) you can buy already cut florets at TJ’s
2 1/2 cups organic chicken broth
2 egg yolks
1 clove garlic peeled
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp grass fed butter
1 ½ pounds organic boneless chicken thighs cut into small cubes
2 sweet potatoes cubed
4 celery stalks, cut into ½” pieces
1 large onion chopped
2 cups rutabagas cubed
1 cup chopped broccoli
¾ cups peas (not technically paleo but I think is fine)
1 Tbsp coconut oil or butter
1-1 1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves chopped
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
For the Crust:
- Using a fork, stir together the almond flour, tapioca flour, salt and baking powder
- Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course sand
- Mix in the cold water and egg white (I use my hands) until it’s formed together into a dough.
- Cover and place into the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour.
- When you’re ready to roll out the dough, place it on either parchment paper or a silicone mat. You might need to sprinkle on some tapioca flour to prevent sticking.
- Roll the dough out to the shape of your baking dish at about ¼ inch thick. I use a rolling pin if I have one or I’ve been known to use a mason jar or anything evenly round and glass.
- Carefully pick up the dough and place on top of your baking dish.
- If you find that you have extra dough, roll it out and place it on parchment paper to bake in the oven along side the pot pie. (The extra crust can be an added extra on top or as a little snack later ;-). Making decorative leaves to garnish is fun too.
Pre-heat oven to 375 F
- In a medium sauce pon, simmer cauliflower and whole clove garlic in broth until cauliflower is soft. About 15-20 minutes, depending on size of florets.
- Take the pot off the burner and let cool for about 10 minutes
- Place cauliflower, broth, and garlic in a blender and blend on high for a minute or two, until smooth. Be really careful handling this as it will still be a bit warm.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl. While whisking, add a little of the hot pureed cauliflower to temper the yolks. Then add the tempered yolks into the blender and blend again for a minute to incorporate.
- Heat butter over medium–high heat in a stock pot. Add onion, celery, sweet potatoes and rutabaga. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are cooked al dente, about 20 minutes.
- Add chicken and broccoli, cook until chicken’s heated through-about 7 minutes.
- Remove form heat. Stir in cauliflower sauce, peas, butter, fresh thyme and Dijon.
- Taste to make sure it’s adequately seasoned. Add extra salt, if needed.
- Pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish and put on a parchment lined baking sheet in case it drips.
- Top with the crust and trim. (you can form decorations with the trimmings) Put a few cuts for steam to escape.
- Bake for 40 minutes at 375 F, until crust is golden brown.
An easy and inexpensive way to purchase your non-grain flours is at thrivemarket.com