25 July 2013
Calling all gluten-free cooks: I need your help! Though this chicken cobbler was fine just the way it was, it would have been fabulous had the sauce stayed as thick after baking as it had been before it went into the oven. It seems some of the gluten-free starches thin out at some point in the baking. I used tapioca flour, which works perfectly in my fruit pies, and the sauce became much thinner during its time in the oven. Any suggestions?
I usually put an all-butter flaky pastry crust on my chicken pies, but I had a package of gluten-free biscuit mix on hand and was eager to try it. That's when I thought of cobbles. Looks pretty cute, huh? Tasty, too. And the topping, as well as the filling, reheated well the next day. I love leftovers!
Of course, it's easy to make gluten-free biscuits (though I haven't posted my recipe yet). If you're not gluten-free, you can use one of these biscuit recipes for the topping: Homemade Biscuits or Buttermilk Biscuits Made with Buttermilk Powder.
A gluten-free diet has (at least, so far) not done for me what I had hoped it might, but I'm going to stick to it for the entire month. If I don't notice a difference by the end of the month, perhaps I'll try a dairy-free month next. But I'll continue to develop the occasional gluten-free recipe for friends. So do, please, give me your gluten-free tips in a comment below.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup diced green bell pepper
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup diced orange bell pepper or carrot
2 cups halved and sliced mushrooms (1/2-pound package)
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons dry sherry, optional
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
Optional: 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 packed cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Biscuit and Baking Mix
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup milk
1 In 12-inch skillet, heat oil. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; brown on both sides, cooking for a total of 20 to 30 minutes or until done. If you prefer your pies with shredded chicken, shred it now using two forks. If you prefer diced, set the chicken aside to cool a bit for neater dice. (Or you can use 2 1/2 cups or so of leftover shredded or diced cooked chicken, in which case you would skip this step.)
2 In same skillet, melt butter and saute onion for 3 minutes, scraping up the brown bits from cooking the chicken. Add bell peppers; saute for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and pepper; saute for 5 minutes.
3 In a small bowl, stir the tapioca flour and broth to a smooth slurry and stir it into the vegetables. Stir in the cream and sherry; cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly and thickened. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Stir in the chicken and, if using, the peas. Adjust seasoning.
3 Pour into 1 1/2- to 2-quart baking dish (such as the CorningWare French White 1 1/2-Quart Oval Dish pictured above--I love that dish, have used it several times a week for many years). Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4 In medium bowl, add butter to baking mix. With your fingers or a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the cold butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs with some bigger chunks remaining. Pour on the milk and gently mix until just combined.
5 Using a #60 (1/2 ounce / 1 tablespoon) scoop to form "cobbles," scoop the dough onto the chicken filling. Wetting the scoop from time to time will make the dough release more easily. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until topping is golden and filling is bubbling.