Google Analytics

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Curry Ground Turkey Pot Pie Madness

Do you ever get odd cravings?  Really odd?
I do.  A common one when there's candy in the house is Nestle Crunch dipped in peanut butter (reason #57 NOT to have candy in the house.)  But yesterday I was craving curry ground turkey.  Now why is that odd? Because I've never HAD curry ground turkey.  And yesterday, when the craving announced itself, my husband had already agreed to make dinner.  Just one of those strange coincidences.  Which dragged the curry out to the point that I was desperate when I got up this morning.  While evaluating and making the curry in the crockpot, the idea of a curry pot pie occurred to me.  The only issue with that, of course, is that I have been avoiding breads and crusts like the plague since going gluten-free.  And I haven't broken down and paid $12 for some xanthan gum.

But I did have an aha! moment!  A couple of years ago, I made a chicken pot pie recipe from Real Simple magazine that had a polenta crust instead of a traditional.  And polenta is gluten-free if I make it from scratch. So all I have to do, is remember how I made that, and remember to not use tarragon because my family hated the tarragon in the original (which I cannot find at all.) Now, naturally, I didn't have any chicken broth available to make the polenta, because the last 3 times I've made it I actually forgot it and left it out on the counter and never froze or refrigerated it.  But I did have a chicken carcass in the fridge, so I fired up crockpot #2 to get the chicken broth going. 

Which led me, after returning from my morning walking trip, to desperately running around chopping vegetables before time to log in and start working.  I am inventing curry ground turkey as we speak (er, as I type, I suppose.)  I'll put the recipe in its completed form and my evaluation of it below, after I've finished.

What I should be doing is coming up with a quick and easy gluten-free lunch, because the kids will be here during my lunch hour, and my mom announced she's not feeding them first. What I'm actually doing, though, is blogging about an irrational craving for a dish I've never even eaten.

Curry Ground Turkey Pot Pie
For the filling:
1 onion (I used a Vidalia)
2 potatoes
2 carrots
1 stalk celery
2 tbsp. gluten-free curry powder
2 small heads bok choy
1 lb. ground turkey
1 cup water
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup chicken broth
For the topping:
cooked polenta

Early in the morning, start out by chopping your veggies.  Peel the onion, but for crying out loud, leave the peels on the onions.  Throw everything except the bok choy into the crock pot.  Top with the ground turkey and sprinkle the curry powder over it.  Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of frozen peas.  If you have a programmable crockpot, cook it on low for 4 hours or so.  When you are getting ready to throw your pie together, add the chopped bok choy and the chicken broth, and switch your temp over to high.

In the afternoon/evening, make your polenta.  If you don't have or want to use instant polenta, make it from scratch:
3 cups cornmeal (NOT cornbread/meal mix)
21 cups chicken broth
2 tsp. salt

Bring chicken broth and salt to a boil in a large pot.  Add the cornmeal S-L-O-W-L-Y, whisking all the while.  Once it is all blended, keep the pot boiling.  You will want to stir this constantly, keeping lumps from forming and keeping the bottom of the pan from burning.  Be careful with the polenta, it looks like lava when cooking and will bubble and pop.  You will want to cook it like this for 30-40 minutes.  You may add seasonings if desired. You want to stir continuously.  When it is done, it will be very creamy, and will willingly pull away from the side of the pot for a moment. 

When it is almost done, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Stir the polenta a bit, and then pour your filling into a greased baking dish.  It's ok if the bok choy hasn't totally wilted, it will do so in the oven.

When the polenta is ready, spoon it over the top of the filling until everything is covered nicely. 

When your oven is heated, pop the dish in the oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes.  The polenta topping should start to solidify and form a bit of a crust and turn golden brown or until you can't stand waiting anymore...

Serve in a bowl with a spoon, nothing fancy.  Just sheer enjoyment!  It turned out great-- we loved it!

While the pot pie is cooking, grease a cookie sheet or other baking pan and pour the leftover polenta into it.  Smooth it out so that you have an even layer.  Remove from the stovetop and place this sheet over to the side.  Once it cools and solidify, you can slice the polenta and use it for tons of other things.


  1. go ahead and get the xanthan gum. It may cost $12 but it lasts a very long time.

  2. I probably will next week. I'm just stubborn and usually manage to find a deal on any and everything.