Monday, July 14, 2014

Chicken Gumbo Pot Pie

This is another freeze-now, serve-later dish, so I can give Bubba and the Crew a comfy meal on their busiest weeknights. Puff pastry adds an elegant touch to this luscious chicken gumbo. { don't tell my men though } For a simpler dish, prepare recipe through step 7 and serve with rice or cornbread. Spoon half into freezer-safe containers; freeze and thaw per my tips for freezing and thawing.

Ingredients:

  • 4 SLICES BACON, CUT INTO 1/2-INCH PIECES
  • 4 POUNDS SKINLESS BONELESS CHICKEN THIGHS, CUT INTO 1-INCH CHUNKS
  • 2 TEASPOONS SALT
  • 4 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL
  • 1/2 CUP ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  • 2 CUPS CHICKEN STOCK
  • 4 MEDIUM STALKS CELERY, SLICED
  • 2 JUMBO ONIONS { ABOUT 2 POUNDS}, CHOPPED
  • 2 MEDIUM RED BELL PEPPERS, CHOPPED
  • 2 TABLESPOONS CAJUN SEASONING
  • 2 BAGS { 16 OUNCES } FROZEN SLICED OKRA
  • 2 CANS { 14 TO 14 1/2 OUNCES } STEWED TOMATOES
  • 2 PACKAGES { 17.4 OUNCES } FROZEN PUFF PASTRY SHEETS, THAWED

Directions:

  1. In a large cast-iron skillet, cook bacon over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
  2. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt on chicken. In bacon fat in skillet, cook chicken in batches, 5 to 6 minutes per batch or until beginning to brown. With tongs, transfer chicken to a large bowl.
  3. In the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat 1 minute. Stir in flour and cook about 7 minutes or until deep golden-brown, stirring constantly.
  4. Gradually add stock, stirring with a whisk to prevent lumps; heat to boiling. Boil 1 minute, stirring. Remove skillet from heat.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large stock pot, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until hot.
  6. Add celery, onion, and red pepper. Cook about 10 minutes or until all vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in Cajun seasoning; cook 30 seconds. 
  7. Add chicken stock mixture, okra, stewed tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon salt; heat to boiling over high heat. Stir in chicken and bacon; reduce heat to medium and cook 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside, stirring occasionally.
  8. Divide gumbo between 4 ungreased 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plates. Top each with 1 sheet puff pastry, tucking pastry corners under to form a round top. Cut six 1-inch slits in pastry to allow steam to escape during baking.
  9. Bake one pot pie 35 minutes or until puff pastry is golden-brown and puffed. Let stand 5 minutes before serving
  10. Prepare the other 3 pot pies for freezing. See thawing and reheating tips. 

ACTIVE TIME: 1 HOUR
TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR 35 MINUTES
MAKES: 4 PIES, 6MAIN-DISH SERVINGS EACH



TIPS FOR POT PIES:
To reheat after thawing 24 hours: Heat loosely covered, in a 400 degree oven 30 minutes, uncover and bake 40 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown.

TIPS FOR PLAIN GUMBO:
To reheat after thawing: In a covered saucepan on top of stove, heat to boiling on medium heat, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For Microwave Heating: Heat in microwave-safe bowl, covered, on Low { 30 percent } 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, then on High 5 to 10 minutes, stirring once.