The other day I made Crock Pot Chicken. I saved the cooking liquid/chicken broth and some white meat, intending to make chicken soup with the leftovers. Instead I ran across an old recipe for Old Fashioned Chicken Potpie by Cooking Light. Normally I'm not a potpie kind of girl, but the weather was cold and although I was in the mood for some homey chicken dish, I was feeling a little bored with chicken soup. So I decided to go for the potpie.
The original recipe called for 1/2 cup flour to be added to the chicken broth to make a thick gravy (slurry!) and that sounded really unappealing. So instead of the flour I added red lentils and leftover rice. I really liked the result - it was thick and hearty, but DH thought it needed a little more liquid. So next time I'll use red lentils OR cooked rice. The red lentils don't take long to cook, they dissolve nicely and they lend a pretty color to the dish.
I will admit to saving the fat from skimming the chicken broth. I had just watched Jennifer from Top Chef Las Vegas make duck cooked in its own fat to "honor the duck". So I decided to honor my chicken and used its fat for the potpie crust. The crust turned out mighty tasty, let me tell you! Not only did it have lots more flavor than shortening or margarine , it made the crust a pleasure to work with. I won't be doing that very often, but once in awhile I think chicken fat, or bacon fat for that matter, is okay (and economical!).
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 large carrots, thickly chopped
1 large russet potato, or two medium red potatoes, cubed
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup red lentils OR 1/2 cup cooked rice
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1/2 cup frozen peas
3/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. rubbed sage
1 cup GF flour blend (I used High Protein Blend)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup dairy free, soy free margarine or shortening (or chicken fat, if you have it!)
3 tbsp. cold water
1 tsp. cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Set aside a casserole dish, about 1 1/2 quarts.
For the filling:
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and carrot, cooking until onion is translucent. Add the potato, cover and cook 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook uncovered 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, lemon juice and lentils. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes (skip the simmering if using cooked rice instead of lentils). Turn off the heat and add the chicken through the sage. Adjust seasonings to taste. Pour into the casserole dish, set aside.
For the crust:
Sift together the flour and the salt. Add the margarine or other fat and cut with a pastry knife until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water and the vinegar and mix with a fork until well-blended - it should not be sticky or dry. Turn onto a piece of wax paper and knead a couple of times until the dough is smooth. Roll the dough, coating the rolling pin with flour as necessary, to about 1/4 inch and about 1/2 inch larger than the casserole dish. Pick up the wax paper and flip the crust on top of the casserole filling. Peel off the wax paper gently. Roll the overhanging crust into the casserole dish, staying as close to the sides as possible.
Bake the potpie:
Flute the edges of the crust. Vent with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape. Place the casserole in the oven - it is a good idea to put tin foil on a lower rack to catch drips. Bake about 45 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
(The crust is a pretty color, no?The chickpea flour in the blend I used makes the crust easy to work with but if you don't like chickpea flour, try All Purpose Sorghum Blend instead.)