Mini Chicken Pot Pies (gluten-free, paleo)
I’m ridiculously excited with these delicious, mini chicken pot pies. They’re gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and paleo – though you’d never know!
I think you guys know by now that I’m not a cold weather girl. I like warmth, sunshine and palm trees – and my toes nestled in warm, glistening sand while cool, ocean water gently brushes over them. That’s why I tend to chase perpetual summer across the globe, flip flopping between summer in the northern hemisphere to summer in the southern hemisphere. Last year it was summer in Cali, to summer in Sydney, Thailand and Bali…back to summer in Cali. Ahhh, absolute perfection.
But alas, I’m firmly planted in Cali this winter. Not that a Cali winter is really that bad – it’s more a “winter light” location. The truth is I’m just a big old cold weather baby. So when I saw that rain and cooler temps were forecasted for next week, my brain instantly transitioned from smoothie bowls to comfort food. Cooling to warming recipes. Funny how that works, right? Our bodies have this amazing wisdom that just knows how to nourish from the inside out.
When I made my pumpkin pie last Thanksgiving I knew without a shadow of a doubt that my light and flakey crust would be making a repeat appearance. When you have a recipe winner (especially with a gluten-free, paleo-friendly flour), you’ll want to use it over and over and over! It’s like discovering a top that’s totally flattering so you buy it in 3 different colors.
Well, here’s a new top for you – in the form of mini chicken pot pies which use that same golden, flakey crust. Not only are they delicious, they’re cute, perfectly portioned and loaded with warming goodness. So what’s inside? Shredded chicken, carrots, celery, broccoli and peas – simmering in an herby, garlicky, chicken broth, coconut milk mixture. If you’re strict paleo you could sub the peas for more broccoli – but I think you guys know I’m not big on rules…just adapt to what makes you happy!
The crust is a mix of almond flour and cassava flour but if you saw my first attempt on Facebook, you’ll notice that the crust was a bit drab looking. So I rectified that with a simple egg wash for golden goodness – yessss! I have a few other tips when it comes to the crust though, as working with grain-free flours can often result in frustrating, crumbly dough. In fact, on my first attempt I thought, “right, I’ll just roll the dough and use a bowl to cut out a large circle and then transfer that circle with a spatula to the top of the pies.” Umm, not so easy peasy and it broke apart every time.
So you want to hear my genius idea? My tortilla press! Which made perfect, round circles in seconds that were easily transferable between parchment paper. If you don’t have a tortilla press, you could still roll them out. The big takeaway really is to divide your dough first and create mini, individual circles (between two pieces of parchment paper) versus thinking you can cut circles out of one large piece of dough. Once I got that down – bam! These mini chicken pot pies were good to go.
- 1 cup almond flour
- ⅓ cup cassava flour (I always use this brand)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 4 tbsp cold butter or organic palm shortening (for dairy-free)
- 1 large egg, whisked
- ½ tbsp cold water
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
- 1 celery stalk, sliced and diced
- ⅓ cup onion, diced
- 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped small
- ⅔ cup frozen peas
- ⅓ cup full-fat coconut milk
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- ½ tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- ½ tsp fresh thyme
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1½ tbsp water
- To make the crust, stir together the flours and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter or shortening using a pastry cutter or your fingers until you have a crumbly mixture.
- Add the egg and water and use your hands to knead until a ball of dough forms.
- Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and place in the freezer while you make the pie filling.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
- Heat the chicken broth in a pot on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the whole chicken breast, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the chicken breast for 15 minutes or until done.
- Remove the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for a minute.
- Add the carrots, celery and onion to the pot and cook uncovered on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. While cooking, use two forks to shred the chicken into small pieces and set aside.
- Add the remaining pie filling ingredients to the pot and stir to combine. Increase the temperature to high and boil for 2-3 minutes uncovered, to thicken the liquid. Then add the shredded chicken and stir.
- Divide the pie filling between four 7-ounce ramekins.
- Remove the dough from the freezer and slice the ball into quarters with a knife. Roll each quarter into a new ball. Use a tortilla press to flatten the individual ball between two pieces of parchment paper or roll the ball out. Remove the top piece of parchment paper and flip the dough circle on top of a ramekin. Remove the other piece of parchment paper and gently press down on the sides to seal the top. Remove any excess dough.
- Make the egg wash by whisking together the egg and water. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops of the pot pies.
- Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes, or until golden.
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