Friday, January 28, 2011

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chicken Pot Pie

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chicken Pot Pie 
It’s been a rough winter here in Seattle.  First I get sick, and then Ben gets sick, and then I get sick again.  The weather isn’t that bad, just damp and chilling to the bone.  I spend much of my time hunkered at my desk with blankets and a heated rice bag.  Somehow, dry 15 degree weather is easier to deal with than wet 40 degree weather.

Before this latest round of illness I got a bug in my bonnet to make a dairy-free chicken pot pie.  I adore pot pie.  The creamy rich broth and delicate chunks of chicken and carrots make me feel safe and warm and home.  Sadly, neither Ben nor I digest dairy terribly well, and those feelings of comfort are overshadowed by intestinal distress when I make it with milk.

Enter: hempmilk.  Have you tried it?  I wouldn’t drink it or put it on cereal but I adore cooking with it.  It thickens beautifully, and the unsweetened variety tastes neutral so you can spice it up any way you like.  I’ve used it with great success to make tuna noodle casserole.

When I cook with hemp milk, I almost always add a touch of tahini for depth of flavor.  Nut milks can taste rather two-dimensional.  They're passable substitutes that do in a pinch, but not something you’d seek out if you had the choice.  Tahini and a touch of wine suddenly brings hempmilk into that third dimension.

This is a simple, flexible recipe that can be modified to fit your needs.  Lactose intolerant?  Use the hemp milk but substitute butter for the olive oil and non-hydrogenated shortening.  Are you gluten-free but digest dairy just fine?  Use whole milk in place of the hemp milk and omit the tahini.

What’s your favorite chicken pot pie recipe?  How would you change this one to fit your needs?

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chicken Pot Pie

1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
2 cups chicken broth
½ onion, finely diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery ribs, diced
6 T olive oil
½ cup sweet rice flour
1 ½ cups unsweetened hemp milk
1 tsp tahini
3 T sherry or white wine
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp tarragon
½ cup thawed frozen peas

Biscuit Topping:
¾ c brown rice flour
¾ c tapioca flour
¼ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup sweet rice flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthum gum
1 egg
½ stick non-hydrogenated shortening
3-4 cup unsweetened hemp milk

  1. Mix together brown rice flour, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, sweet rice flour, salt, baking soda and xanthum gum
  2. Cut shortening into dry ingredients until it resembles small pebbles
  3. Make a well in the center, crack the egg in, and beat it up with a fork.  Use a spoon to mix the egg into the dry ingredients
  4. Stir in the hemp milk ¼ cup at a time until combined but not soggy.  Use more or less as needed
  5. Refrigerate until ready to use

  1. Place oven rack in lower middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium sauce pan or dutch oven.  Simmer chicken breasts for 10-13 minutes until cooked through.  Set aside chicken breast to cool and reserve chicken broth in a bowl
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook slowly until soft, stirring often, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cut up or shred the chicken.  When the vegetables are done, combine with the chicken in an 8 x 8 baking dish.  Add frozen peas.
  5. In the empty pan, heat 4 T olive oil over medium heat.  Add sweet rice flour and whisk until combined and slightly browned, about 1 minute.
  6. Slowly add hemp milk and chicken broth, stirring constantly until thickened.  Add tahini, thyme and tarragon.  Adjust seasonings as needed.
  7. Pour sauce over chicken and vegetables, stirring slightly until just combined.
  8. Drop nine biscuits over filling and back for 25-30 minutes or until don.
  9. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


  1. Because dairy has always pretty much been out for me, I've never actually had pot pie! This looks like an adventure I will have to trial soon.

  2. Give it a go Alisa. I don't think you'll be disappointed! Are you gluten-free as well?

  3. This is one of those heartwarming dishes you'd love to serve to your family. Especially mine, where even the youngest (3 3/4 years old) always has something to say about Mommy's cooking, lol! They love pie to begin with. And lately they are really starting to like meat pies. Before they are all for sweet pies, apple pie being their unanimous favorite! :)