No one will ever suspect that this Chicken Pot Pie is topped with gluten-free biscuits.
Joe was out of town for almost 3 weeks and I did what I always do – tested recipes and tried new things. I noticed, though, that without him here it just didn’t have the same meaning. I cook because of the joy it brings others. When I know it’s good that’s one thing. When someone else tries my food or cooks a recipe of mine and thinks it’s good, that’s a whole different situation.
A reader and fellow blogger recently shared that she’d tried my Carrot Cupcakes and she loved them. I can’t tell you what joy that brought me. I’ve always dreamed that someday I’d cook for others – this just made my dream a little closer to being real.
Back to cooking for Joe…I’ve always known that he loves chicken pot pie, but I’m not a pot pie kind of girl. I was single for so long and only had myself and the dogs to think about – so I ate lots of soups, salads, fruit, sauteed veggies, chicken. He would starve if I fed him that way. My husband needs hearty food. Enter Barefoot’s Chicken Stew with Biscuits. When I told him I was going to make it, his eyes lit up and then he proceeded to list his favorite ingredients – chicken, peas, carrots, onions, mushrooms, and a good, flaky topping with shredded white cheese.
It’s ironic that I love Barefoot’s cooking style so much given that so many of the things she cooks are just not me. Her passion for simple ingredients and flavorful food is really what keeps me hooked. I don’t have to run all over Dallas to get a certain salt or wait for my Internet order to arrive. I can walk into any grocery store, pick up the ingredients, go home, and make a fabulous meal. As she would say, “How simple is that?”
A few pointers when making this dish:
- Anytime you’re making biscuits or a flaky pastry, the key to success is having the butter and any liquid ingredients really cold. If the dough gets too warm while you’re cooking it, just pop it back into the refrigerator and let it chill for 15 or 20 minutes before baking it.
- Instead of rolling out the dough and cutting it into rounds, I just used a knife to cut it into rectangles. (I learned this from Barefoot.) It’s so much easier than using a cookie cutter and then rolling out the extra dough again. I love the rustic look, too.
- The stew filling might look too thick before you bake it but it’s not. It will thin out a little while it’s baking.
I followed Barefoot’s recipe exactly as written except for these changes:
- I used my gluten-free flour blend instead of regular flour.
- I omitted the sugar in the biscuit recipe.
- I cut Barefoot’s stew recipe in half but kept the biscuit recipe the same. We had more than 4 servings – her original recipe is really big.
- I added mushrooms at Joe’s request and topped his with grated Comte cheese right before serving it (I did not put the cheese in the oven) – a slightly nutty, firm French cheese made from unpasteurised cow’s milk. It’s very much like Gruyere.
I’m not going to republish her recipe here because I didn’t change anything significant. I wish I could say that the biscuit recipe was mine, though. They are so darn good.
I will throw caution to the wind in regards to gluten-free flour blends – they’ re not all the same. How the flour behaves depends on the mix. My mix really works well with this recipe. If you have a store bought blend it might not yield the same result. I’ve never tried a store-bought blend because all of the brands I’ve seen have potato flour or potato starch in them and I don’t eat white potatoes. If you have a mix that works well, please share it here.
What did I learn?
- Gluten-free biscuits with a crispy outside and a moist, flavorful inside are possible.
- Having a good, hearty meal in your back pocket is a good thing.
- Frozen onions and peas pack a lot of flavor with no effort at all.
Have you cooked anything new lately or stretched your culinary boundaries? Tell us what you’ve learned. Or, what meaning does cooking for others add to your life?