Berry-Lemon Syrup

lemon berry pancakes top

I hope everyone had a beautiful Mother’s Day weekend!  I finished up our last showcase on Saturday, which went perfectly smoothly, and now has me calm and collected for the six weeks of prep work and school classes remaining before summer camp.  Sunday was nice an simple, with the mum and the mom (and the brother and friends) coming over for a barbecue.  I marinated some Buttermilk-Dijon Chicken and then passed it over to M to grill with some quick-rubbed ribs and asparagus while I baked a vegetable gratin and beautiful little pots de cremes that surprised even me with their simplicity.  Both will soon be appearing on the blog sooooon!  I did not take pictures on Mother’s Day, but that just mean I will have to make both recipes again!  Such a shame! (Once again, I am longing for a sarcasm font).

lemon berry pancakes close

Spring has been fickle here.  Since we didn’t get any snow until March, I can’t say that I’m surprise that we’ve been switching from torrential downpours, to gusty gray chills, to sticky, hot humidity over the past two weeks.  The only reliable feat of weather was that, when we had to load or unload props and set pieces, the rain would begin.  Usually in earnest.  Ugh.

But the past two days have been sweltering, in spite of the storm warnings.   I think that now, in May, spring may finally have arrived, just in time to shift to summer (I’m knocking on the table right now).  And I have finally let go of the warming soups and squash dishes of winter.  I’m embracing zucchini, craving berries, peaches, and bright green salads.  Though M and I are pretty firmly into a bacon-and-eggs breakfast rut (I’m now out of fruit and yogurt  and can’t bring myself to make oatmeal on warm mornings), when I had the extra time to spare I threw together some doctored-up GF Bisquick pancakes.  But only after the batter was mixed, did I remember that we had no syrup in the house.  We still don’t…it’s one of the those strange pantry essentials that always get missed when making the grocery list.

lemon berry syrup jar 2

But we did have berries and lemons, and I figured I could whip up something without much trouble.  I happen to love pancakes, especially GF Bisquick’s (I’m withholding my raving for the moment), plain, but I know that I may be in the minority there.  Plus, when I have a morning to make pancakes, I’m practically going all out.  This berry-lemon syrup really is just fruit steeped in a simple syrup.  Crushing the fruit releases some juices, but the boiling and simmering really infuses the flavors.  I set my batch simmering and was able to cook my pancake batter in the 15-20 minute simmer time.  A quick strain and a stir was all that was left separating this fruity syrup from soft, warm pancakes.  Try this for breakfast, it’ll definitely give your day a good start!

lemon berry pancake bite 2

Berry-Lemon Syrup

  • 2 c. mixed berries*
  • Juice + zest of 1 large lemon (2-4 tbsp juice, up to 1 Tbsp of zest)
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 3/4 c. sugar (agave/honey would be fine, just needs more reducing time)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

*I used a mix of blueberries and strawberries, but any combo, or even just 2 cups of one kind of berry, should work just fine.

Use a potato masher or a fork to mash the berries in a medium sauce pan.  Add water, stir well and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Boil for five minutes.  Add in sugar, stir until dissolved.  Stir in lemon zest.  Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low to simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Strain fruit from syrup.  If a thicker consistency is desired, return syrup to pot and continue to reduce until desired consistency is reached.  Remove syrup from heat, stir in lemon juice and vanilla extract into syrup.  Serve warm.

This syrup will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two weeks.  Try it on pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream–anything you can think of!  I also reserved my strained fruit pulp to add to smoothies, but you can discard the pulp, if you wish.

 

Advertisements

Moving Update and Un-ravioli (Gnudi)

gnudi close

I was trying to think of clever titles for this post, but all I could think of was “Dancing in my Gnudi pants”, in reference to the Georgia Nicholson series, which I devoured one summer at my cousin’s house when I was fifteen.  But that really isn’t a good reference to make, when I’m trying to convince you to make this recipe for dinner…

Today is day two in our new house!  My Sunday was spent madly packing the last –okay, most of my belongings into boxes and bins and miraculously fitting, at least, 80% of my life into my car.  Tabby may be small, but she’s a beast.  Just saying. (Even more miraculous, I think she got better mileage while packed with stuff–like, 5 more miles to the gallon, better.  That, or I filled up the tank partway and forgot about it…but I don’t think that I am so exhausted as to forget a trip to the gas station). Anyways, Monday was moving day, and we did a lot of it.  Between picking up the U-Haul, picking up keys (the rental office did not open until 10am, which set our day back a little bit), grabbing a new dining table from a friend’s, and packing up the first load at M’s house, we didn’t actually get into our new townhouse until 1:30pm.  But, all of our belongings and furniture made it into the house by 5pm, which is a great achievement.  Now, we are stuck trying to unpack everything, which is really the hard part.

I did not, to my relief, cull down any of my kitchen supplies, but this move has proven how strange of an assortment of kitchen gear I own.  Brotform proofing basket? Check. Madeleine Cookie mold? Check. Bread proofer, crockpots, muffin tins, baking tins, measuring spoons, pot holders? Check and check.  But when it came time for dinner (M had already claimed making a curry), we had no knives or plates (the plates got left behind in the plot of a long explanation).  After four years in a college dorm and three solid years of regular cooking and kitchen experiments, it turns out that I do not (nor does M or S) own my own knives.  Or a vegetable peeler. Or measuring cups, mixing bowls, pots and pans, cutting boards, or spatulas.  I’ve always used my mother’s.  Or M’s mother’s, or whichever roommate had brought those tools for the year. It was an enlightening and disappointing discovery.  While I have lovely plans for a shopping spree for such essentials, my wallet does not support that plan.  We’ll have to see what we can get by on borrowing and buying piecemeal as we go along.

Luckily, S did own (and bring) a few pots, and with M’s pocket knife, dinner got on the table–in mason jars, the only containers that had made it into the kitchen.  It was an interesting end to the day, but I don’t know if I have eaten more delicious curry.  The next day, I bought a cast-iron skillet and a chef’s knife, and M grabbed some of the plates.  We may have enough tools to survive now! 😉 Since Monday was my last day off for a week, and the last day off for M and S for at least another 10 days, the actual unpacking process has been quite slow.  Some cooking is certainly happening in the little corner of counter space cleared by the stove, but I’ve been more lax in documenting it.  Last night, the boys grilled steaks while I tossed together an herbed mediterranean salad and skillet potatoes.  I’m sure I will be making both again soon–photos will have to be taken on the second round.  I’ve always been a little torn about posting salad-type recipes…I guess some of my favorites (this mediterranean, a two-bean salad from my sister, my mother’s ambrosia, or macaroni salad, etc) don’t seem to be very revolutionary.  Tasty, absolutely, but they are simple enough that I’m sure you could find another recipe on the internet.  However, since this blog was started to serve as an online collection of my recipes, as much for myself as for anyone else, I think I do need to share my salad “recipes”.  If I really get my act together, maybe I will have a salad week!  Especially with summer coming around.

Speaking of summer, it certainly isn’t here.  While we haven’t gotten any snow for a few weeks, it has now become reliably sunny.  Looking out a window is looking out to a glorious promise of sun and warmth…a promise that is, in fact, a lie.  It is still quite chilly with the wind, in spite of the sun beaming down.  Maybe it is because of this disconnect that I have found myself craving tea, constantly. I may, or may not, have just stopped to make yet another cup of Earl Grey. (See, I am not quite as random as I seem–only tangential!)  Even though it is April, and even after last night’s lovely salad, I am still wrapped in sweaters, holding a cup of hot tea, and thinking about the rich, warming stews, rich gravies, and filling squash dishes of winter.

For today’s recipe, especially since I am still bogged down with unpacking, I have a recipe that I made several weeks ago, when the season, definitely, could still be counted as winter.  I came across Giada’s recipe for Gnudi and was intrigued by these “nude ravioli”.  Filled pastas, like ravioli and tortellini and chinese dumplings, were a staple in my house when I was young.  After going gluten-free, I have had one dish of GF ravioli that was actually passable (in fact, it was delicious!) at a local restaurant.  I was very much interested in trying gnudi as a substitute.  A creamy mix of ricotta under thick tomato sauce would be the perfect warm and comforting dish to make for dinner.  (Ultimately, my binge-cooking got the best of me, and I made cabbage rolls to go along with this.  Recipe for those coming soon!)

My expectations for this recipe were, honestly, entirely wrong.  Though the ingredients make up the soft, creamy filling of ravioli, I should have thought more about their counterpart in name: gnocchi.  Gnudi are dumplings, in the “chicken and dumplings” sense–thick all the way through, rather than holding the soft ravioli center.  This didn’t diminish their tastiness, but it was rather surprising when I came to the finished product.  Because I was expecting these to be a tad softer, I made them into larger rounds, like the dinner-sized raviolis of my childhood.  Next time, I will definitely keep gnocchi in mind and form my gnudi much, much smaller into little bite-sized pillows of cheesy awesome.  But their large size wasn’t much of an issue–two gnudi made the perfect snack, three were great for dinner with a side dish.  M, ultimately, ate these with his fingers, dipping them into the marinara sauce like I have photographed.  Either way you form them, big or small, gnudi are a delicious option for any meal.

gnudi plate

Gnudi 

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

Serves 6 | Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes

  • 1 c. whole-milk ricotta, undrained*
  • 2 c. kale leaves
  • 1 c. grated parmesan or pecorino romano (please use REAL cheese, not the Kraft Green Bottle stuff)
  • 1/4 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. (each) salt and pepper
  • 6 tsp gluten-free flour mix + extra for dredging(I used 2 Tbsp, each, White Rice Flour, Sorghum Flour, and Tapioca Starch)
  • 1/8 tsp. xanthan gum
  • Pasta sauce (marinara, bolognese, vodka sauce, etc)

*Stir the liquid at the top of the ricotta into the rest, then scoop out ricotta to measure

Rinse and dry the kale leaves.  Chop finely.  Mix the ricotta, kale, cheese, eggs, egg yolks, and spices in a large bowl.  Whisk 6 tablespoons of flour mix and xanthan gum in a small bowl until well-combined.  Stir in flour mixture, incorporate well.  Refrigerate for ten to fifteen minutes.  This rest will help the flour begin to absorb the liquid, as well as firm the mixture slightly.  The mixture may still be rather loose and “goopy”.

After mixture has chilled, place a large pot of water on the stove.  Heat to boiling, then turn down to a simmer.  Add additional flour to a wide, shallow bowl. Using a spoon or two, scoop out desired amount of cheese mixture for one piece of gnudi.  Drop mixture into flour and coat lightly (I spooned some flour over top, then rolled a little bit).  Once coated, the gnudi will be able to be picked up by hand, but will still be delicate.  Drop gnudi into simmering water in small batches and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, until the gnudi are cooked through and float to the surface.  Drain and keep warm until serving.

Continue shaping, dredging, and cooking gnudi in small batches.  Serve warm with your favorite pasta sauce.

gnudi top

Would you make small gnocchi-size gnudi?  Or keep them big (and potential finger foods)?  Do you have the same everlasting love for tea?  Do you name your car? (Fun fact: Tabby’s full name is Tabitha.  And my KitchenAid Stand Mixer is named Henrietta.  Those are the only inanimate objects that have names, though.) Have you read the Georgia Nicholson books?


A Belated St Patrick’s Day Dinner (that is just as good on any Tuesday!)

st pats dinner

St. Patrick’s Day weekend was a little hectic for us.  Actually, the last few weeks, clearly, have been quite busy.  We’ve finally settled all of the paperwork to move into our new house(!), but now we are packing up everything in less than a week to move in April 1st.  I’ve just gone through all of my clothes (I have no idea how I got so many) and even though I overhauled my closet less than two years ago, and gather up three garbage bags-worth of clothes and shoes to donate yesterday, I am slightly concerned about how I will fit all of it in my dresser and closet at the new place. I may just have to steal some of M’s closet space.  In all seriousness, I am over-the-moon with excitement knowing that we will each have our own separate closet and separate dresser.  Glorious! I haven’t even begun to sort through my kitchen items, yet.  That task is as frightening, but only because I keep assuring myself that I won’t have to get rid of anything.  Thankfully, this house comes with a huge, beautiful kitchen (with a giant pantry)!  I’m less concerned with being as selective with my precious kitchen items as I’ve had to be with my clothes.

st pats top

I am grateful that it is Spring Break, so one of my jobs is on break as well.  It’s been nice to have a little more free time to try to gather my life into boxes.  A few weeks ago, our St. Patrick’s day celebration was almost somber and sober, compared to most.  I said almost.  M had two shows with a changeover in-between.  I spent Saturday evening, while he was at Show #1, at my mother’s, to see my visiting aunt and cousin.  There, I had (the near-obligatory) corned beef.  I thought that was about the end of St. Patrick’s day food-celebrations.  However, the next morning, everyone else’s dinner proclamations on Facebook sounded just too tasty.  I found lamb chops for fantastically cheap and that settled the deal.  I set some cabbage to boil with bacon and pepper, cooked some carrots, mashed some sweet potatoes with garlic, baked up some popovers, and seared up the lambchops for a surprisingly fast and delicious dinner, complete with cider.  The perfect detail was the pan sauce I made.  M and I put it on everything.  Pan sauce is one of my favorite things to make because it is so simple.  Five extra minutes, plus a little wine and broth in the pan you’ve cooked the meat in is all it take to ramp up your meal from good to great!   

I don’t really feel like any of the cooking I did this day truly deserve a “recipe”, though I will do my best to provide a recipe-like breakdown for you.  All of the spices and flavorings are optional and interchangeable.  Choose herbs and combinations that serve your own taste.  Though I made this with St. Patrick’s day in mind, it really is easy enough to make any night of the week!  Next time you see lamb on sale, give these herbed lamb chops a try!

st pats close

Herbed Lamb Chops

Serves 4 | Prep time: 5-30 minutes | Cook time: 10-15 minutes

  • 4 lamb chops (bone-in)
  • 2 Tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. ground thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp.+ olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Mix all herbs, salt, pepper, vinegar, and worcestershire sauce with enough olive oil to make a paste. Coat all sides of the lamb chops and allow to sit for, at least, five or up to 30 minutes.  After chops have marinated, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat for several minutes.  Add a thin coat of oil or nonstick spray, and place the chops in.  Allow a little breathing room between chops. Sear the chops for 4-5 minutes, flip and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.  Remove chops from pan, cover and let rest while you prepare the pan sauce.

Pan Sauce

Serves 4 | Prep time: cooktime of a cut of meat | Cook time: 5-10 minutes

  • Drippings/leavings in a pan from searing meat
  • 1 c. chicken or beef broth
  • 1/2 c. white wine

Reduce heat to under the hot pan. Deglaze with wine.  Allow wine to cook for one minute, then add chicken broth. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan.  Raise sauce to a simmer, allow to reduce down to preferred thickness.

Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 15-20 minutes

  • 3 lg. sweet potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp.+ milk of choice (nondairy is fine)
  • salt & pepper

Peel sweet potatoes.  Chop into even pieces and place into a medium pot.  Fill the pot with water an inch above the potatoes.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Remove potatoes from heat, drain, and add remaining ingredients.  Mash until smooth.

Boiled Cabbage

Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 15-20 minutes

  • 1 sm. head of cabbage
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 2 tsp. peppercorns
  • salt to taste

Core the cabbage and remove outer leaves.  Cut into quarters.  Place cabbage in large pot, cover with water.  Take one slice of bacon and peppercorns and wrap in a leaf of cabbage.  Add flavor packet to the pot.  Bring cabbage to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain cabbage, remove flavor packet, and discard.  Cook remaining bacon.  Use two forks to shred cabbage. Chop all three slices of bacon and add to cabbage.  Season with salt and pepper.


Quick and Easy Weeknight Chicken Fajitas (+ Pico de Gallo & Guacamole)

fajita center

When I first began to cook, when it became more than just mixing up a boxed cake mix when I was bored or overloading on cookie recipes near the holidays, I was mostly driven to surprise my mother with dinner.  A few trusty dishes developed, but they were nothing too extraordinary.  Sauteed chicken and onions tossed into jarred marinara sauce over spaghetti.  Thin slices of chicken cooked with peppers and onions and sprinkled with McCormick’s fajita seasoning.  I remember feeling especially revolutionary on the day I decided to add a squeeze of lime juice.  Simple as these dishes may be, they were still delicious, and remain as quick and easy standbys for when my creativity runs out (or when I can exercise prudence and restrain myself from running to the grocery store for more ingredients).

A few things have changed–corn tortillas instead of flour, my own spice mix instead of prepackaged–but much has stayed the same.  A minimum 2-to-1 ratio of onions to peppers (I think restaurants’ tendency toward extra peppers is what prompted me to make my own in the first place.  Onions are the best part!), served up with guac, sour cream, and pico de gallo.  This comfort food is easy and tasty to toss together fast.  If you are more prepared than I am, you can set the chicken to marinade in the morning, giving it a full day to soak up those flavors.  If you are really proactive, chop and toss the pico de gallo together, too.  The longer it sits, the better the flavors meld.  If you are more like me, don’t worry about it.  Just give the chicken and the pico at least 30 minutes to mingle!

m's fajita

We used thick corn tortillas that we found at our international market.  I piled mine up, but M preferred a more deconstructed method.  The tortillas made these fajitas a bit more of a knife-and-fork kind of meal, but they were still delicious!  Also, if you’ve noticed a drastic improvement in photo quality (if you haven’t, I’d be highly surprised) you can thank M.  He has been lending me his photography skills and his iPhone 5 camera!  I love the quality of these photos, compared to my grainy snaps.  The iPhone (camera-wise) definitely kicks my Droid Incredible’s butt.  Next on the list after paying for rent, a cruise, and my student loans…a new phone?  Haha, maybe this summer!

fajita table

Chicken Fajitas

Serves: 4 | Prep: 20 min (total) | Rest time: 30 min+  | Cook time: 15-20 minutes

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 3-4 thighs)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 c. chicken broth (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp oil, divided
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder*
  • 1 tsp cumin powder*
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder*
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper*
  • 1/2 tsp paprika*
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 med. onion, sliced
  • 1 large bell pepper (any color) sliced

*Or use 1 1/2-2 Tbsp of a prepared/packaged fajita seasoning mix

Fixings:

  • 1 batch prepared guacamole (recipe below)
  • 1 batch prepared pico de gallo (recipe below)
  • Sour cream
  • Corn tortillas

Mix the lime juice, 2 tablespoons of oil, garlic, a pinch of lime zest, and dry spices to make a paste.  If you would like a more liquid marinade, add the 1/4 cup of chicken broth.  Spread paste over all surfaces of chicken, or dip chicken to cover in the marinating liquid.  Place chicken and marinade (paste or liquid) in a ziploc.  Press out the air and seal tightly.  Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes, up to several hours.

Heat half of remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Remove chicken from marinade, season with salt and pepper, and place in hot skillet.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until the pan-side is nicely browned.   Flip, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes more until cooked through and evenly colored.  Remove chicken from skillet.  Add remaining oil and add sliced vegetables.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a pinch of lime zest.  Cook until slightly softened, with onion beginning to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.  Slice the chicken thinly.  Turn heat up to high, add chicken back into skillet, and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Serve with corn tortillas, sour cream, pico de gallo, and guacamole.

guac+pico

Pico de Gallo

Serves: 4-8 | Prep time: 10 min | Rest time: 30 min+

  • 2 plum tomatos, diced and seeded
  • 1 sm. onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • Salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes, up to several hours.

guac_side_shot

Guacamole

Serves: 4-8 | Prep: 10 min

  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1 sm. onion, finely chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste (usually a generous pinch of each)

Juice lime over avocado immediately after dicing avocado.  Add remaining ingredients and mash and mix to preferred consistency.

 


Winter Has Come: Gluten-Free Chicken Pot Pie

potpieserve

Well, we finally got a bit of snow this past week: a couple of inches evenly spaced to have just enough time to melt in between snowfalls.  Thankfully, things didn’t get too icy.  Considering the season has been positively balmy, it was a welcome bit of change.  I had the day off during the first snowfall and was struck by a cooking binge.  The end of the day found me with roasted banana bread and chicken pot pie topped with gluten-free puff pastry, with the dinner rounded out by new potatoes, green beans, and kale chips.  Yes, at the end of the day, I had plenty of dishes…but that doesn’t guarantee that they all came out well.  My “banana bread” was a ruin.  The taste was similar to what you might expect, but only if you could ignore the texture, which was remarkably akin to play dough.

I had decided to try a new flour mixture, lured by the promise of sorghum flour and millet flour, two of my favorite whole grain flours.  But while I was measuring in he various ingredients, tiny alarm bells began to ring.  Over half the mixture is starches?  Millet is the same weight as rice flour and sorghum nearly there…they can’t need that much balance.  Isn’t it supposed to be 60/40 grains-to-starches, max?  An entire quarter of the mix is potato flour…?  And there was the trouble.  Too much starches, specifically potato starch.  Of lately, I’ve been using more of it, because I love the elasticity it adds, but too much of the starch, at the least, means baked goods that rise beautifully in the oven, only to sink and shrink as they cool.  At the worst, it means playdough banana bread.

Undaunted by the failed banana bread, I figured I would try my hand at Nicole’s Gluten-Free Puff Pastry.  This rolling and turning business couldn’t be that hard…right?  Truth be told, I’m not sure if I did it right, but there was a lot of rolling and folding and chilling and pressing that left me with a (fairly) manageable dough with the butter well-incorporated.  And since I had puff pastry, I might as well make some Chicken Pot Pie for the pastry dough to top.  It’s only logical.

potpiewhole3

Lucky for me (and M) my first attempt at Chicken Pot Pie turned out much better than my banana bread.  Truth be told, the puff pastry didn’t puff much, but it did make an extra-buttery, beautifully crunchy top shell.  My recipe for Chicken Pot Pie is inspired by Ina Garten’s–her’s was the first I stumbled upon that seemed classic.  But Ina’s recipe is huge (even though it claims to feed four), so I immediately cut it down.  And I didn’t have all of the ingredients.  It all worked out in my favor, though.  Instead of 1 1/2 sticks of butter and 1/4 cup of heavy cream, my gravy gets by on a bit of oil, a splash of milk, and only two tablespoons of butter.  Let’s just put the pie crusts out of our heads, for the moment.  But quite seriously, if you need a dairy free recipe as well, and already have a reliable dairy-free pie crust up your sleeve, this recipe is a cinch to adapt!  Chock full of vegetables and warmed gently by spices, it was the perfect dinner for the day of our first snow.

potpiedinner2

Gluten-Free Chicken Pot Pie

Serves 6

  • 1 prepared batch of uncooked pie dough or puff pastry, chilled
  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or 2 BL, SL chicken breasts)
  • 2 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (I used a packet of Trader Joe’s Better Than Bouillon)–make sure the brand is GF
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil or canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 small (or 1 large) onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour mix (I used 2 parts white rice flour to 1 part cornstarch–just trade off spoonfuls, it doesn’t need to be exact)
  • 2 Tbsp milk or cream
  • 1 c. chopped carrots, par-cooked (confession: I tossed mine in the microwave for 2-3 minutes)
  • 1/2 c. celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 (heaping) c. frozen peas (about 5 oz or half a bag)
  • 1 c. frozen pearl onions
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp of water for an eggwash

If pan-frying the chicken, heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large saucepan.  Add chicken and cook over medium heat for about 20-30 minutes or until browned and cooked through.  If roasting chicken, preheat oven to 350 degree F, lightly rub chicken with olive oil and roast for 35-45 minutes until cooked through.  Sprinkle cooked meat with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.  Turn the oven up to 375 degrees F.  Place your crust dough on the counter to come to room temperature.

While the chicken is cooking, chop all vegetables and measure out the flour mix.  Pour the chicken stock into a small pot and heat until simmering.  Add the olive oil and chopped onion to the saucepan where you cooked the chicken (or scrape a bit of the brown tasty bits from the roasting pan into a new saucepan).  Cook over medium-low heat until the onion turns translucent, about 10 minutes.  Melt in 1 Tbsp of butter and then turn the heat to low.  Add the flour and stir constantly for about 2 minutes, scraping up all of the sauce from the bottom of the pan until the roux turns golden brown.  Add the chicken stock and continue to stir until thoroughly combined.  Simmer over low heat for 1-2 minutes, until thickened.  Add milk, rosemary, poultry seasoning, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper and stir until well incorporated.  Add in carrots, celery, peas, and pearl onions.  Cube the cooled chicken and add to the vegetables.  Mix well.

Pour the mixture into a large casserole dish or into 4-6 individual, oven-proof dishes.  Smooth the top and sprinkle over a pinch each of salt and pepper.  Roll out the dough to about 1/4-1/3 inch thick, larger than the top of your dish(es).  Mix the egg and water together into an egg wash and rub some of the wash all along the edge of the dish.  This will help the crust stick.  Place the dough over your casserole, pressing it gently to the sides of the dish to seal it.  Brush the entire top with egg wash and cut a slit or three to allow the steam to escape.  Place the casserole dish onto a jelly roll pan (a baking sheet with a low rim) to save your oven from any drips.  Place into the preheated oven and cook for 1 hour, until pie crust is golden and crisp and the gravy is bubbling.