Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Gluten-free Chicken Pot Pie with Cornbread Crust | 玉米派皮雞肉派 — 不含麩質

As I write, I have just completed my two intensive weeks working at Sweetpea Cafe, Hong Kong's only entirely gluten free patisserie serving up decadent cakes and healthy brunch classics. How it all happened was almost like a dream. Just a month ago my friend and I wandered the quaint backstreets of Central and walked into Sweetpea for an afternoon of cake, coffee, and conversation. I gawked at the cake display, started conversing with the friendly and bubbly owner Angel, took a bite of the delightfully fluffy Tiramisu cake, and it didn't take much else for me to fall in love with this place.

My eyes rested on the "We Are Hiring" sign. With my annual two-week leave just weeks away, the idea of hitching an interim job here at Sweetpea Cafe sprouted. I stayed up all night. The next thing I know, I texted Angel with my proposal in the morning, and she responded: "I'd say yes in a heartbeat!" BAM, the stars aligned. I dropped my original plans of a (rather expensive) cooking holiday in the rustic countryside of Brittany, France and landed a part time job working in a charming little patisserie in my hometown. Call it a working holiday or apprenticeship, it was a dream come true in every sense for me to work in a cafe, to experience the operations behind the scenes and to open my eyes to the harsh reality of running a business in Hong Kong.

The two weeks had gone by in a blink. My experience reminded me of the television show on one of the travel channels where the host ventures around the world to master a new skill in two days' time. My two weeks were no short of challenges, discoveries, failures, stress, laughter, and sense of achievement. To fully delineate my experience in today's entry would be nearly impossible, so I will leave it at that for now and draw our attention back to the yummy dish of the day... Chicken Pot Pie with Cornbread Crust - and it's gluten free!

Thanks to Sweetpea Cafe and my Toronto-based cousin whom I worship for her talents and stamina in everything she does, I have become increasingly interested in gluten-free cooking and diet. I began digging around in books and online and in groceries in the U.S. and decided to experiment a little. I even bribed my flatmate to haul a ton of assorted flours back from Toronto (where they are readily accessible and affordable) in efforts to create my own blend of gluten free flour.

What we have today is my all-time favorite, Chicken Pot Pie, topped with golden cornbread instead of the traditional shortcut pastry. It's like taking a baby step towards making gluten-free choices. The cornbread adds such a delectable crunch and flavor to the creamy filling that I am not so sure I miss the buttery pastry crust so much anymore! The following recipe is based on my Individual Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry Crust post from 2015 but is modified and improved. As for the crust, it's basically a cornbread baked on top of the filling, so it would work perfectly on its own any other time! This recipes produces a cornbread that has a perfect crumb - neither too dry nor too cakey!

What you'll need...
For the pie filling:
3 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 - 3 ribs celery, diced
6 cremini mushrooms, stems intact, diced
3 tablespoons gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup chicken broth (from cooking the chicken thighs)
1/2 cup warmed milk
Thyme, fresh or dried

For the Cornbread Crust:
1 cup gluten-free cornmeal
1 cup gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preparing the Chicken Pot Pie Filling
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add bay leaf (and any unwanted vegetable trimmings) and chicken thighs and cook for 8 minutes. Turn heat off and leave chicken in the pot covered for another 5 minutes. Rinse chicken under the tap and let cool in refrigerator while prepping the other ingredients to allow for easier cubing. Reserve chicken broth.

2. Heat butter in a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and mushrooms until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Add flour and stir to combine with the vegetables, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup of broth and bring to a boil. On low heat, stir in warmed milk, cubed chicken, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and stir until mixture thickens.

Making the Cornbread Crust Topping

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Whisk together dry ingredients, add milk, eggs and butter, mixing until just combined. Pour batter over pie filling and bake (line with baking tray to catch drips) for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm!

《玉米派皮雞肉派 — 不含麩質》

決意把個人最愛的 Chicken Pot Pie 研製出更健康的無麩質版本,

雞肉派 材料:
去皮去骨雞上髀肉  3 件
月桂葉  1 塊(可免)
牛油  1 湯匙
洋蔥  1 小隻
蒜頭  3 瓣  剁碎
甘筍  2 條  切粒
西芹  2-3 條  切粒
啡蘑菇  6 隻  切粒
不含麩質麵粉  3 湯匙
雞高湯  120 毫升
牛奶  120 毫升 用微波爐叮暖
百里香  適量

1. 滾水加入月桂葉和雞肉,用中火煮 8 分鐘後熄火加蓋焗 5 分鐘。將雞肉取出洗淨並放進雪櫃片刻,以便稍後切粒。雞湯去油備用。
2. 鑄鐵鍋燒熱後加入牛油,炒香洋蔥、蒜頭、甘筍、西芹及蘑菇,約 5 分鐘。
3. 加入麵粉拌勻,約 1 分鍾。
4. 倒入 120 毫升雞高湯,拌勻並用中火煮至沸騰。
5. 將火收細,加入牛奶、雞肉粒和適量百里香及調味,待材料稍微呈糊狀後熄火備用。(假如沒有鑄鐵鍋的話,可將材料倒進適合焗爐的盤子內備用)

不含麩質玉米派皮 材料:
不含麩質玉米粉  150 克
不含麩質麵粉  120 克
砂糖  50 克
發酵粉  1 湯匙
幼鹽  半 茶匙
黃原膠  1/4 茶匙
雞蛋  2 隻
牛奶  240 毫升
牛油  30 克 溶掉

1. 焗爐預熱 180 度。
2. 把幹成分拌勻,拌入牛奶、雞蛋和牛油。
3. 拌勻後倒在鍋中的雞肉材料上,放入焗爐焗 25-30 分鐘,或知呈金黃色以及牙簽能夠乾淨拔出。慢用!

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