25 July 2013

Chicken Cobbler - Chicken Pot Pie with Gluten-Free "Cobbles"

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.    

Chicken Cobbler

(Serves 4)

The Filling

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

The Topping

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.



TONY said...

I like a good cobbler myself.

However there is a use of the word. "cobbler," over here that might not go down well on your side of the Atlantic, Jean.

If you hear anybody say ,"cobblers," it is such a mild expletive people just laugh. It is taken as a joke.

OK I am going to now reveal the dictionary definition. Those with a sensitive disposition please look the other way.

cobblers (ˈkɒbləz)

— pl n
1. rubbish; nonsense: a load of old cobblers
2. See testicle another word for testicles

— interj
3. an exclamation of strong disagreement

usage The use of cobblers meaning "nonsense" is so mild that hardly anyone these days is likely to be offended by it. Most people are probably unaware of its rhyming-slang association with ``balls'', and therefore take it at its face value as a more colourful synonym for ``nonsense''. The classic formulation "a load of (old) cobblers" seems to be particularly popular in the tabloid press

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, thank you? (That IS a question!) You just might get my sweet little blog banned in Boston! :D I forgot all about that English definition!

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Wow...I learned something from Tony--never knew that definition!

Back on your gluten-free quest--how about potato balls made from mashed potatoes, chilled then formed into balls and roasted on top of the chicken stuff.

Debby said...

I make a dish like this a lot. It is one of my families favorite dishes. I have wondered how to make it gluten-free. I will have to try the cobblers. I wonder if the GF Bisquick would work. I haven't seen the mixes you spoke of. My biggest problem is finding a substitute for cream of mushroom soup. For that matter anything in that category with the soups. They seem to hold it all together. I have tried a GF cream of mushroom soup and it was nasty.
I have been GF for 3 years because of a positive biopsy. My blood work was negative. I really don't notice a big difference until I go off of it. Give it a bit longer. Good luck. Thanks for sharing.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sue, sorry 'bout that! (That Tony is too funny!) Great idea about topping it with potato. As you've probably guessed, I'm the world's biggest mashed potato fan.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Debby, thanks! Do let me know if you find a suitable substitute for the soup. I'm wondering if maybe potato starch would hold up through the baking and keep the sauce thick? I'm glad you're doing well on the diet!

Amy said...

Your Chicken Cobbler looks elegant and good for any day family dinner or serve with companies. I always afraid to try GF breads/dough as I've heard not so nice things about them. Glad to know these tastes great. I've gotta try them on my next friends gatherings cos some of them are on straight GF diet. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

This dish looks fabulous, Jean! I'm sorry it didn't turn out exactly like you wanted, it's definitely a bit disappointing when that happens! And I'm also sorry to hear the gluten free diet isn't working like you hoped. I admire you for sticking with it though :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Amy! Of course, I like my own GF biscuit recipe better than the mix; but I haven't posted it yet. Your GF friends will so appreciate your making something they can eat!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jenn! Well, as soon as I take a little break from this special diet, I'll pick a month to try dairy-free and see what that does for me!

Sippity Sup said...

Is you gluten free experiment a weight loss strategy? I'm curious what your expectation for it are. GREG

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Hi, Greg! I've had a sinus/throat kinda thing going on for the last several years and one of my gluten-free friends suggested I see if going off gluten would help. It hasn't! But I'm sticking with it until August 1. Then maybe in October I'll try going dairy-free for a month and see if that helps.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Soooo-o…you’ve come to me at last for help (as I knew you would). Heh-heh-heh. Yes, yes, it could be that I have a suggestion or two…yes, I think I do, I do. I do, indeed. First, you must add sugar. Lots of sugar. Sugar is a thickener. I mean, look what it does to the arteries. And then of course there’s butter – butter is better than batter. And that’s it. Simple, eh? Chocolate is optional. And I’ve never tried ice cream, but why not? A few scoops in the mix can’t hurt, especially if it has Saunders hot fudge over it. No need to thank me. Tut-tut.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Your friend Grant from Oz is still concerned about your eating habits! But I must admit, just before I sat down and posted this comment, I had a sweet chocolate treat myself - a cup of hot chocolate, made I'm sure with significantly less sugar than you would have used, but nevertheless ...

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Oh, chicken pot pie is an all-time favorite at our house. I will have to give this recipe a try! Thanks, Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Ruth! What's not to love about chicken pot pie!