I’m surrounded by gluten intolerant, carb phobic, wheat avoidant eaters. How did this happen to me? I’m such an easy-going person, willing to eat just about anything that isn’t nailed down. My delightful husband has pushed us to remove pasta from our lives – though we occasionally regress. As you may have noticed, I’m quite fond of comfort foods, and chicken pot pie ranks up there with the all-time great cozy, reassuring foods. It turns out that it tastes mighty good without a crust – solving the gluten intolerant, carb phobic, wheat avoidant problem. I’m still going to make Chicken Pot Pie with crust once a year. You can’t stop me. But the rest of the time, this dish comforts me, even without a crust. Try it.
Crustless Chicken Pot Pie (serves eight)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 lbs chicken (I used thighs – the dish will have more flavor if you start with chicken that has both bones and skin – the skin and bones will be discarded later)
- 1 onion, fine dice
- 1 leek, cut in half lengthwise, washed carefully and then thinly sliced
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 4 carrots, diced
- 2 Yukon gold potatoes, diced (no need to peel them)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 4 ears fresh white corn, kernels cut off of the cobs
- 3 tablespoons flat leaf Italian parsley, washed carefully and chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, pulled off of the branches and chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter (or 3 tablespoons of skimmed chicken fat – see recipe below)
- 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Brown the chicken on both sides. Although this dish could be made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts or boneless, skinless thighs you’ll find that it has a lot less flavor that way. I think it works really well with bone-in thighs. Once the chicken is browned on both sides, set it aside. Add the onion, leeks, celery, carrots and potatoes to the pot and sauté on medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Add the white wine and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate all of the tasty bits of chicken. Add the chicken broth and the reserved chicken pieces. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. You will need to skim the top of the soup with a flat spoon to remove the chicken fat. I reserve 3 tablespoons of the fat and use it instead of butter in the next part of the recipe. The chicken fat will serve the same purpose as butter – thickening the soup – and has more flavor than butter. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pot (tongs are the right tool for this task). Set the chicken on a carving board and cut the chicken off of the bone, and then into bite-size chunks. Discard the skin and bones.
In a separate small skillet heat the butter, or skimmed chicken fat, until bubbling. Add the flour and whisk it quickly into the butter. You only want to cook this for a minute at the most. Pour this roux (butter/flour mixture) into your soup. Whisk the soup. Allow the soup to simmer for 2-3 minutes and it will thicken. Add the chicken pieces, corn, parsley, thyme, salt, lemon juice and white pepper. Taste. Add additional salt and pepper if needed. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the chicken and the corn are heated through. Serve.