Gluten Free Polenta Pot Pies Recipe
It seems like only yesterday we were popping champagne corks and heralding in the new decade. Now it is March! Where has the time gone? For me and possibly for you as well, it has rushed by in a flurry of frenzied activity; the days are long and filled to the brim with things to do, places to go, people to see.
No matter how busy life gets we still have to eat. When rushing from one place to another it is very tempting to grab take out or something from the freezer section of the market. While quick, it is hardly as satisfying as a home cooked meal and for those of us who are gluten intolerant, often dangerous.
I have taken lately to employing a strategy I relied on when my boys where young and I had work, school, sports activities and heaven knows what else cramming my weekdays; I cook more on the weekend and repurpose what I made during the week.
Roast chicken and root vegetables for Sunday night dinner is my all time favorite. As the chicken sputters and spurts in the oven and the veggies caramelize to crisp, sweet nuggets of goodness the house fills with an aroma that screams home and family.
It is just as easy to roast two chickens as it is to roast one and the second one can be standing by ready to shred for salads, chopped and tossed into broth or turned into a quick chicken pot pie. If you don’t happen to have a roast chicken standing by you can pick up a rotisserie chicken at the market or quickly roast some thighs in a 400 degrees oven for about 30 minutes.
In the time it would take to bake a frozen pot pie (if we gluten intolerant could find a good one) these polenta pot pies can be whipped up and brought to the table, steamy, fragrant and oh so comforting.
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 cups gluten free chicken stock - use divided
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 carrots - chopped
- Kosher or fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup cream or coconut milk - use divided
- 3 cups cooked chicken meat - chopped
- 1 cup frozen baby onions
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary - minced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ¾ cup quick cook polenta
- 1 cup grated cheese (I prefer Gruyere) – optional if making dairy free
- Fresh rosemary sprig for garnish - optional
Mix the cornstarch with ¼ cup chicken stock and set aside.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat and then add the chopped carrots. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the carrots just start to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add 1 ¾ cups chicken stock, the cream or coconut milk, chopped chicken, frozen onions and minced rosemary and bring to a simmer. You can also add any roasted veggies you may have on hand, butternut squash or potatoes are particularly good. Let simmer about 15 minutes. The veggies should be tender and the chicken heated through. Add the frozen peas. Turn the heat up; bring the mixture to a boil and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Boil for 1 minute and take off the heat. Taste the mixture and adjust seasoning if needed. Divide the mixture between 4 oven proof bowls or ramekins and set them on a baking sheet.
Preheat the broiler and place the oven rack in the middle.
In a saucepan over medium high heat, bring the remaining cup of chicken stock and remaining half cup of cream or coconut milk to a boil. Gradually whisk in the polenta and cook until thick, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat to low and stir in the cheese until melted.
Top the chicken mixture with the polenta and smooth it. Place in pre-heated broiler for 2 -3 minutes or until the tops are browned. Serve with a garnish of rosemary sprigs if desired.
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