Chicken Pot Pies – Jo Whitton – Dani Valent

NUT PASTRY AND DAIRY-FREE CREAMY FILLING MEANS THESE PIES ARE ALLERGY-FRIENDLY AND MEGA-DELISH

I am a biiiiiig Jo ‘Quirky Cooking’ Whitton fan – and my fandom leapt up a notch when I tried her Chicken Pot Pies. As well as being grain-free, dairy-free and gluten-free they are creamy and crispy in all the right places and downright tasty and wholesome all round.

One of the things I love about Jo is that she sees food intolerances as opportunities for creative deliciousness. Rather than seeing the ‘no’ of ‘don’t eat that’ she sees the ‘yes’ of ‘how about this!’ I love that dedication, flexibility, positivity and openness. Not only that, Jo is a fun friend to hang out and cook with – we are both from the dash-of-this-dollop-of-that school of cookery and even though I am a bit of a sugar and flour-eating maniac we find heaps of common ground.

Hope you enjoy Jo’s Chicken Pot Pies as much as we enjoyed making (and eating) them!

Serves: 10-12 as a main
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 300 grams natural almonds (or almond meal)
  • 30 grams duck fat or ghee
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Cauliflower sauce

  • 1 onion, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 60 grams duck fat or ghee (or fat of your choice)
  • 800 grams cauliflower florets, roughly broken
  • 150 grams leeks, white only, sliced
  • 320 grams chicken broth (see Jo’s recipe here)
  • pinch of salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or herb of your choice)

Chicken and Vegetables

  • 200 grams pumpkin, 2 cm dice
  • 200 grams carrots, 2 cm dice
  • 200 grams peas
  • 600 grams chicken thigh or breast fillets, diced

Also need

  • Approx. 12 ramekins (or 1 large dish)

Method

Pastry
1. Place almonds in mixing bowl and mill 8-10 sec/speed 8.

2. Add other ingredients and mix 20 sec/speed 4. Remove from bowl, wrap in baking paper, and chill until filling is ready.

Cauliflower sauce
3. Without cleaning mixing bowl, place onion and garlic into bowl and chop 5 sec/speed 5. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula.

4. Add duck fat or ghee and cook 3-4 mins/Varoma/speed 1.5.

5. Add remaining cauliflower sauce ingredients to mixing bowl and place lid into position. Set to cook for 20 mins/Varoma/speed 1 while you prepare the chicken and vegetables.

Chicken and vegetables
6. Place vegetables into Varoma dish and chicken onto Varoma tray, speading out evenly and ensuring some holes remain uncovered. Place Varoma into position to cook for remainder of 20 minutes. Remove Varoma and transfer chicken and veggies into a large mixing bowl.

7. Place MC onto lid and blend cauliflower sauce 30 sec/speed 9, turning slowly from speed 1 to speed 9. Transfer sauce into bowl with chicken and vegetables, mix through and set aside.

Assemble pies
8. Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Roll out pastry to 3 mm thick on a silicone mat or sheet of baking paper, with a piece of baking paper on top of the dough so it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin. Cut circles to fit tops of ramekins. (Cut very gently on silicone mat using a butter knife so as not to damage the mat.)

9. Fill ramekins with filling and top with pastry circles. Make a couple of holes in the pastry to allow steam to escape. Place ramekins onto baking trays and bake in oven (180°C) for approx 18-25 minutes, or until browned.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Tips

  • Jo prefers to use activated nuts and seeds – soaked and dehydrated – as they are easier to digest. If using activated nuts and seeds for the pastry, and milling them yourself, you will only need about 250 grams.
  • Chicken and vegetable mixture can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge.
  • If making a large pie, you will need to bake it for 25-30 minutes or until pastry is golden and crisp.
  • Chicken pot pies freeze well and can be quickly re-heated for easy meals! The filling can also be frozen separately.

Variation

  • Replace almonds with pepitas for a nut-free version.
  • Omit meat for a great vegetarian version.
  • Jo uses duck fat but any good fat will work – try ghee, butter or coconut oil.
  • Make a soup by adding (nut) milk to any left-over chicken pot pie mixture.
  • Replace chicken with bacon or try a combination of the two.
  • Turn the pastry into sweet pastry by adding a spoonful of honey.

After more healthy recipes from Jo Whitton? Try her Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Smoothie – it’s delicious! Or make Jo’s Coconut Flour Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup for a gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free breakfast for the whole family.

You can also find out Jo’s top 3 tips for simplifying your kitchen here.

Looking for another chicken recipe? Try my Chicken Tart – a free-form chicken tart which uses a simple technique for creating a pastry lattice.

More about this video

Want more Quirky? Check out Jo’s Thermomix book and her program Quirky Cooking for Gut Health.

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