Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Gluten Free Chicken and Vegetable Pie

Gluten free and pastry don't generally go together very successfully - anyone on a gluten free diet could attest to that.   I've been diagnosed for about 12-13 years now, and let me tell you, being a Coeliac now versus the early 2000's is so so much easier.  For those diagnosed many years earlier than that, I take my hat off to you and wonder, truely, how you managed to eat!  Things have changed in many ways.  Restaurants, cafes, and other eating places outside of the home have not only become aware and accommodating, but many have actually embraced it by offering gluten free menus, or even creating a whole establishment dedicated to gluten free dining.


Supermarkets have a much larger gluten free offering, not only in the health food section, but also throughout the store with well known mainstream brands.  And a huge factor that has removed the angst from shopping is the food labelling law changes over recent years.  Now a product needs to be clearly labelled if it contains gluten (and other allergens).  So not only was that such great news for us Coeliacs, it was also very helpful for friends and family of a Coeliac who were trying their best to make gluten free foods.  And just on that, I have been overwhelmed many a time by all of my beautiful friends who really make such an effort when we come for dinner or even just a muffin with coffee.  It means a lot every single time, and I'm sure I'm speaking for all of us Coeliacs out there who have such loving friends!

Anyway, so, I first made this a few months ago in my early days of 'Thermomixing'!!  But don't despair those of you still without this Masterchef appliance!  I made a lot of it on the stovetop first time around so don't stop reading now!

Now what has prompted me to blog about it now was that I actually made it again tonight, in the midst of what has been a fussy eating stage with my boys - both of them too...even the notorious food vacuum!!  So whilst I must add in a disclaimer here to say I can't guarantee success with all kids, it has certainly brought my two out of hibernation, enough to ask for a second helping and then eating the leftovers out of the storage container hubby was meant to take for work tomorrow!!

Again I need to apologise for my poor photography skills!  You'll see what I mean once you reach the bottom of the post ( :

Oh, and just one more thing.  If you don't have a need to avoid gluten, use regular wheat plain and self raising flour, or if you're stretched for time, the pre-made pastry sheets in the freezer section of the supermarket will obviously do a great job too!!
Chicken could be substituted for a tin or two of legumes (cannellini beans, lentils or kidney beans), or salmon or tuna.

Gluten Free Chicken and Vegetable Pie

Ingredients

Pastry
70g gluten free self raising flour
130g gluten free plain flour (I use a mix of glutenous rice, Orgran plain, quinoa, chickpea, corn)
1 tbs chia seeds
120g butter (cold)
1 egg

Filling
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
5 short rashers bacon
20ml olive oil
3 cups mixed vegetables (whatever is in your fridge really but I use carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, red capsicum and mushrooms)
1 tbs vegetable or chicken stock concentrate (or 2 tsp stock powder)
1 large chicken breast
a handful of fresh parsley

Cheese sauce
300ml milk
25g butter
25g gluten free plain flour
50g cheddar cheese

Thermomix Method

1.  Add all pastry ingredients except egg to the TM bowl.  Mix on speed 5 for 15 seconds.
2.  Add egg and mix on speed 5 for a further 10 seconds.  Mould into a flat disc, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 20 minutes.
Place vegetables in TM bowl and chop on speed 5 for approx 5 seconds or until a small chop size is achieved.  Set aside.
3.  Place chicken and parsley in TM bowl and chop on speed 5 for approx 5 seconds or until a small chop size is achieved.  Set aside with veggies and scrape the bowl.
4.  Place onion, garlic and bacon in TM bowl and chop on speed 5 for approx 5 seconds or until a small chop size is achieved.  Add oil and saute on Varoma for 5 minutes on speed soft, REVERSE, with MC off.
5.  Add vegetables and chicken mix back to the bowl along with stock concentrate and cook for a further 8 minutes at 100 degrees, speed soft, REVERSE, using spatula to mix around a couple of times.  Set aside and rinse bowl.
6.  Add sauce ingredients to TM bowl, except cheese.  Cook for 7 minutes at 90 degrees on speed 4.
7.  Add cheese and mix at speed 7 for 10 seconds and then heat for 1 minute at 90 degrees on speed 3.
8.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
9.  Remove pastry disc from fridge and knead gently to make it pliable again.  Take 2/3 of the pastry and roll out thin between two sheets of baking paper (or Thermomat and baking paper).  Remove the top sheet of paper and turn it over into a shallow pie dish (I use a 23cm one with removable base).  Press gently into the corners with a small overhang to allow for shrinkage.
10.  Blind bake for 10-15 minutes.  Spoon chicken and veggie filling evenly into the pie base, making sure you extract as much liquid as possible to avoid the pastry becoming too wet.  Pour over cheese sauce. Roll out last 1/3 of pastry as in step 9 and lay over the top of the pie.  Gently press into cooked pastry around the sides and poke a fork gently three or four times into the top of the pie.  Brush with a bit of milk or egg wash if desired.
11.  Place back in the oven and bake for approx 20 minutes or until the pastry is browned and pie is cooked through.

Conventional Method

1.  Place all pastry ingredients except egg into food processor and blend until mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. 
2.  Add egg and process until mixture comes together.  Knead lightly into flat disc, cover in plastic wrap and place in fridge.  If you don't own a food processor, rub butter into flours by hand.  Add egg and knead together to form a dough ball.
3.  Finely chop onion, garlic and bacon and add to gently heated oil in deep saucepan.  Saute until lightly browned, taking care not to burn the garlic.
4.  Finely chop the vegetables.  Add to the onion mix and add stock concentrate.  Cook for a further few minutes, stirring regularly.
5.  Finely chop chicken breast and parsley.  Add to vegetable mix and continue to cook, stirring, until chicken is just cooked through.
6.  Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan.  Add flour and stir briskly to form a paste.  Cook, stirring continuously for a minute or so to cook out the starch in the flour.  Using a whisk, slowly add the milk, whisking briskly to avoid lumps.  If you do get lumps, use a stick blender or push through a sieve.  Once mixture has thickened to coat the back of a spoon, add grated cheese and stir until melted.
7.  Stir cheese sauce through the meat mixture and set aside.
8.  Continue as per step 9 above.
Veggies chopped


Once chicken has cooked
Rolled out pastry

Lining the pie tin


The finished product!


Tip

  • This will make quite a heaped pie.  If you prefer, you could always make double the pastry for two flatter pies.  Either that or just use any leftover filling for lunch the next day with rice, or cold in a wrap!
  • These could be made into individual pies by using muffin trays or individual pie/tart cases.  Great lunch idea with lots of goodness from the veggies and chicken.
  • Due to the absense of gluten, expect that this pastry will be more prone to crumbling than regular wheat based pastry so handle with care.  The chia seeds were added to help improve the binding.  Xanthan Gum could also be used if desired

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