Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Paleo Chicken Pot Pie and *Almost* Paleo Pot Stickers

You win some, you lose some.  Overall, this was a delicious meal, even if it looks like crap.  This is one of those "I adapted" meals and I'm not sure I like how it turned out.  

You see, this recipe for chicken pot pies that I got from Fed and Fit called for coconut oil in the crust recipe.  Well, I used almond oil instead and I don't think that was a good call.  The crust did not hold well together at all.  I was barely able to get it flattened into circles, off of the cutting board, and on to the ramekins.  

What was hanging over and "attached" to the side of the ramekins fell off while cooking.  What was inside at first turned into a mushy mess with the oils from the chicken pot pie, but as it cooled and "dried", it actually tasted quite good.  You can see in the last picture how the crust dried, but it still wasn't a crust.

I also made pot stickers today.  (It was a pot day... pot pie, pot stickers, crock pot applesauce.)  These took some time.  I had to prep the vegetables, then cook them in stages adding the meat, then cool it all for an hour.  The pot sticker wrappers were fairly simple to make.  6 eggs, separated, 2 cups of arrowroot flour, and a cup of water (mixed in stages).  These were cooked like little crepes, 1 tablespoon of batter crepes.  Here's where it wasn't exactly fun. You can only cook one at a time and it takes about 30 seconds for each side to cook.  Then you take it off the heat and immediately fill with 1 tablespoon of the meat and veggie mixture, then use a fork to seal them shut.  This takes quite a while.  After about 30 minutes in, I realized I had made about 10 pot stickers out of 31 that the recipe made. Thankfully, this was the time that my hubby came home and I put him to work filling and sealing the pot stickers while I just made the wrappers.

Once they were all made, I had to fully cook them.  This was interesting.  I took a non-stick skillet (same one I made the crepes in actually) and used a basting brush to brush on some bacon grease.   I put 5 pot stickers in the pan and didn't touch them for 2-3 minutes and just let them cook.  I flipped them and added 1/8 cup of chicken stock and let them steam for another minute or two.  I repeated the process for all 31 pot stickers.  There was a sauce that I could have made but I didn't take the time to make it.  I'll put it in the instructions below.  I say this recipe is *almost* paleo (which means it wasn't) because I used soy sauce in it.  The original recipe from Paleo Cupboard called for coconut aminos but I haven't found a non-coconut substitute for those yet, just soy sauce which isn't paleo friendly.  If anyone has any non-coconut suggestions for coconut aminos that are paleo friendly, please tell me!

Verdict: For as ugly as this chicken pot pie is, it tasted good. We all agreed on that.  The pot stickers were delicious as well!  I don't think I would ever cook these 2 recipes on the same day again, just too much work involved.  Throw in making applesauce at the same time and I was just plain crazy.  But good tasting food, and knowing I have a supply of Paleo applesauce, makes all the work in the kitchen worth it.  Look for tomorrow's post. I made applesauce because I got a half bushel of apples for $10 so I'm making lots of fun items with apples right now. Who knows what I'll make tomorrow?  Well, I do, but you don't!

Makes 8 Pot Pies

3 cups almond meal
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup almond oil (I suggest using less to see if the crust holds together better than mine)
1 TBSP cool water
1 egg (for egg wash after placed on pies before cooking)

2 chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into ½” cubes
1 yellow onion, chopped
5 green onions, chopped
2 cups frozen green peas
2 cups carrots, chopped
¼ cup almond milk
¾ cup almond meal
4 cups chicken stock
3 TBSP EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

1. Cook, cool, and cut chicken breasts into ½” cubes.
2. Start to prepare your crust by mixing the dry ingredients in a food processor.
3. Add the almond oil and slowly pulse until it’s evenly mixed.  It should have the consistency of peas.
4. Slowly add the water and pulse until it forms a dough-like texture.
5. Remove from food processor, roll into a ball, and wrap in cling wrap.
6. Put the dough into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
7. Start your pie filling by heating the EVOO in the bottom of a large pot.
8. Add the onions and cook on medium – medium high until they are browned.
9. Slowly add the almond meal and reduce the heat to medium.
10. Slowly add the chicken stock and stir.
11. Add the almond milk, salt, peas, carrots, and chicken.
12. Cook for another minute or two.
13. Evenly distribute between your 8 ramekins (or other oven-friendly bowls.)
14. Dust a cutting board with almond meal.
15. Place the ball of dough on the dry almond meal and cut into 8 even sections.
16. Using your hands first (and then a rolling pin for even thickness), press and roll each of the 8 pieces into a circle.
17. Keep dusting the top and bottom of dough with dry almond meal so that it doesn’t stick.
18. Use the ramekin or dish you are baking in to cut the right sized circles in the dough.
19. Place the crust on top of the filling and paint with the scrambled egg for egg wash, cutting a couple of slits in the top.
20. Bake for an hour at 375.

Makes 30+ Pot Stickers

2 TBSP bacon fat
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, finely chopped
½ lb ground pork
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 cups cabbage, finely chopped
3 TBSP soy sauce or coconut aminos (coconut aminos are paleo, soy sauce isn’t)
2 tsp sesame oil

6 large eggs, separated
2 cups arrowroot powder
1 cup water

For Cooking Pot Stickers:
2 TBSP bacon fat
¾ cup chicken broth

Dipping Sauce:
2 TBSP soy sauce or coconut aminos (coconut aminos are paleo, soy sauce isn’t)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Chili sauce or hot sauce to taste

1. Prep all of your vegetables.  Seriously, prep them all first. They cook too quick to start prepping and cooking at the same time.
2. Add the bacon fat to a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Add the garlic, small onion, and carrots.  Saute for about 3 minutes.  Add the pork and cook for another 5 minutes or till cooked through, breaking up the pork into small pieces.
3. Add the green onion, cabbage, and remaining filling seasonings to the pan and stir to combine all ingredients.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
4. Take the pork mixture off the heat and place in a mixing bowl.  Allow to cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour.  You can leave this overnight if you want to prepare a day ahead.
5. 30 minutes in to the cooling, start making your wrappers.  Separate the egg yolks from the whites and set the yolks aside.  Beat the egg whites until very frothy.  Gently add back the yolks until combined.
6. Mix the water and arrowroot powder together in a separate bowl and slowly stir into the egg mixture until combined.  The mixture will be very wet and runny.  Set the mixture aside for at least 20 minutes.  Stir the mixture well before using and stir a few times throughout the process of cooking the wrappers as the arrowroot powder will separate.
7. Get your pork filling mixture and keep it nearby, with a spoon, fork, and a plate to hold the pot stickers.
8. Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Pour about 1 TBSP of the wrapper mixture into the skillet and use the back of a kitchen spoon to quickly flatten it out, using a circular motion.  It takes a little practice to get this right.  You want the circle to be about 6 inches in diameter.  It will look like a thin crepe.
9. Cook the mixture for about 30 seconds on each side, then remove from the pan.  You don’t need the wrappers to be cooked through all the way because you will be cooking them again later.  Immediately take the wrapper and place about 1 TBSP of pork filling in the center of the wrapper.  Fold in half, place on a plate and press the edges together with a fork so they seal.  You can also use a dumpling press or a traditional folding technique, but I just used a fork.
10. Continue this process until all filling is gone and you have a bunch of pot stickers.  It goes a lot quicker if one person makes the wrappers and the other fills and seals them.
11. When finished making the pot stickers, you need to cook them.  Keep the pan heated over medium heat.  Lightly brush with bacon fat.  Add about 5 pot stickers (make sure they are not touching) and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.  Do not touch them!  After 2-3 minutes flip then add about 1/8 cup chicken broth to the pan, cover, and allow to steam for 1-2 minutes.  *I thought they tasted better when I didn’t put the lid on and they still kind of steamed, but they weren’t as soggy and a little more crispy.
12. Transfer the pot stickers to a plate and continue this process until all pot stickers are cooked.  Serve with dipping sauce.
13. Dipping sauce can be made by combining the dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl.

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