Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chicken and Root Vegetable Pot Pie

(Photo from Cooking Light)
This dish started with a mission.  My grandma has quite a few diatary restrictions, but last week she had a craving for a chicken pot pie.  A "normal" chicken pot pie is probably one of the last things on the list of what she should be eating right now.  But she's my grandma, and I like to do what I can to make her happy.  So I set out to find a way for her to enjoy a chicken pot pie that would be a healthy alternative.  My mission was to come up with a Gluten Free, Non-dairy, Low Sodium, Low Fat version of something that is typically none of the above.  Hmmm, well it's gotta be possible right?

I started scouring the Internet.  And I did find many many Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free, all sorts of sites that offered up ideas.  In the end I came back to one that was on the Cooking Light site.  It was neither Gluten Free or Non-dairy, but it had the Low Sodium I was looking for.  Plus the reviews were stellar & I'm a big fan of a recipe with good reviews.  I decided to use it and make my own modifications to achieve the Gluten Free, Non-Dairy, etc.

Now I'm sure when I say "pot pie" the last thing you think of is Cooking Light.  But I discovered on Sunday, this classic comfort food doesn't have to bad for you to taste good.  I skipped the puff pastry and used Gluten Free Bisquick for a drop biscuit like topping.  I also subbed lactose free milk and brown rice flour in the filling for her.  I was rather impressed with how tasty it came out!  I would gladly eat it that way again, but I lookforward to trying it as posted below, I think the addition of the puff pastry will be perfect!  Give it a try and let me know what you think.  Enjoy!

Chicken and Root Vegetable Pot Pie
adapted from Cooking Light

3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed peeled baking potato
1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (I used the lighter sweet potato, not the orange yams)
1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed peeled celery root (I used celery)
1 cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices parsnip* (you can use carrots if you prefer)
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 ounces), 1 Tlbs removed and set aside (brown Rice flour for GF Modifications)
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed (Gluten Free Bisquick Drop biscuits for GF Modifications)

Preheat oven to 400°

Pour a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of a large pot, add onions and cook on med high heat until they begin to cook through.  Add potatoes, celery & parsnip; cook for 3-5 min.  Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes. Add chicken; cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is done.  Add the peas in during the last minute.  Remove chicken and vegetables from broth with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl.

Increase heat to medium. Measure out flour and place all but 1 tablespoon flour in a medium bowl; gradually add milk to bowl, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broth; cook for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in chicken mixture, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon flour on a work surface; roll dough into a 13 x 9-inch rectangle. Place dough over chicken mixture, pressing to seal at edges of dish. Cut small slits into dough to allow steam to escape; coat dough lightly with cooking spray. Place dish on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until pastry is browned and filling is bubbly.

Calories:388, Fat:13g

*Q: What the heck is a Parsnip??
A: Parsnips resemble carrots, but are paler and have a sweeter flavor, especially when cooked.  Parsnips can be boiled, roasted or used in stews, soups and casseroles. In some cases, the parsnip is boiled and the solid portions are removed from the soup or stew, leaving behind a more subtle flavor than the whole root and contributing starch to thicken the dish. Or you can steam and mash them like potatoes.

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