Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: Keto Chicken Pot Pie
I am part of an online book club and February’s pick was Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. This book has extraordinarily high ratings on goodreads. On the day of this post, the goodreads rating is a 4.54. While I did really enjoy the book, I rated it a 3. I’ll explain why in just a minute.
Where The Crawdads Sing is set in the marshland of North Carolina. Kya, a young girl abandoned by everyone she loves, must learn to survive. If I had to pick one word to describe this book, it would be perseverance. Because as a child and as an adult, Kya must continue to persevere.
The things I enjoyed about this book were the times when Kya was alone. Her interactions with her environment were beautifully told. The reason the book gets a 3 rating comes mainly from the second portion of the book, where Kya faces criminal charges.
You don’t know this. I am a criminal defense attorney when I’m not online blogging about books I’ve read with recipes I’ve cooked. I tend to gravitate towards books that focus on criminal proceedings and then I tend to get annoyed when authors fail at describing these adequately. Besides the clunky dialogue that plagues the conversational points of this book, I can guarantee that most trials are not quite so Law and Order TV show-esque. And most lawyers know how to word much less objectionable questions.
Now, in terms of the purpose of this blog, I was surprised at how many food references were in the book:
- Red beans and cornbread
- Warm biscuits
- Corn fritters or hoecakes
- Baking bread, boiling butter beans, and bubbling fish stew
- Boiled turnip greens
- Roasted hot dogs, red-hot chili, and fried shrimp
- Chicken pie with crust
- Banana pudding
- Scrambled eggs, ripe red tomatoes slices, cornbread fritters
- Picnic spreads of chicken salad and deviled eggs
- Chicken and biscuits
- Fried fish-coated in cornmeal and black pepper-served with grits and greens
- Fried fish and hush puppies
- Sausage and biscuits, boiled turnip greens, and fried chicken
- Crab cakes, creamed corn, chicken thighs
- Grilled flounder stuffed with shrimp served with pimento-cheese grits
- Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, white acre peas and biscuits
- Fried shrimp, cheese grits, fried okra, and fried green tomatoes
- Blackberry cobbler with ice cream
- Chicken stew
- Boiled black-eyed peas with onions
- Smoked fish
- Blackberry jam
- Chicken fried steak, mash and gravy, turnips, coleslaw, biscuits, pecan pie with ice cream
- Turkey, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie
- Coffee and hot donuts
- Fried pork chops
- Blackberry pie
- Sausage and biscuits
- Buttermilk biscuits, turnips, and pinto beans
- Cold fried chicken, salt-cured ham and biscuits, and potato salad. Sweet and dill pickles. Slices of four-layer cake with half-inch thick caramel icing.
- Pimento-cheese sandwich with potato chips
- Fried slices of molasses ham, stirred redeye gravy, and sour-cream biscuits and blackberry jam
- Fried eggs and ham-grits
- Caramel cake
- Chicken ‘n’ dumplings, butter beans, summer squash casserole, cane syrup, and biscuits
- Tuna fish, chicken salad, and ham sandwiches
- Almond-crusted North Carolina trout, wild rice, creamed spinach, and yeast rolls
- “Coon balls,” a mixture of biscuit dough, hot sausage, and sharp cheddar cheese
Holy cow. That was a lot.
So the reason I made this chicken pot pie (and I made it keto so I can eat it) was because of the significance it had in this book. It made an appearance twice. Once at the very beginning and once at the very end.
As a child, Kya was not sent to school. Truancy officers tempted her with the promise of chicken pie with crust. On her only day at school in her life, Kya had the chicken pie but she was also made fun of her by her fellow classmates for not knowing how to spell dog.
The other appearance of the pie was when she first came home, after having been in jail charged with a heinous crime. Her brother makes her a chicken pie to welcome her home. The chicken pot pie acts as a bookend. It marks the beginning of her isolation, as well as the end, the acceptance by her community.
Just as a recipe note, I actually think anyone would enjoy this recipe – a keto follower not. The pastry is made with a fathead dough, which is basically cheese and basically delicious.
Keto Chicken Pot Pie
Ingredients for Filling
3 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, diced
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
12 oz chicken breast, cubed
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
3/4 cup extra sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup frozen corn
salt and pepper, to taste
Ingredients for Dough
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
3 tbsp cream cheese
3/4 cup almond flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Directions for Filling
- Preheat oven to 375.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook until soft.
- Once soft, add the chicken and continue to cook until no longer raw.
- Add heavy cream, chicken stock, and mustard. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 7 minutes.
- Mix in the cheese and stir until melted.
- Mix in the frozen corn. Stir together and set aside.
Directions for Dough
- Melt together the mozzarella cheese and cream cheese. You can do this in the microwave. I use the air fryer, because that’s what I own. Do it in short increments and stir together until it’s melted all the way through and combined.
- In a large bowl add the remainder of the dough ingredients in the with the cheese. With wet hands, mix the ingredients together. This dough gets sticky, so the wetter your hands, the easier.
Put It All Together
- I used individual size baking dishes that are 5 inches by 5 inches. I would recommend something of similar size. Divide the filling between four of these baking dishes.
- With wet hands, shape the dough into four squares. Place one square on top of each dish.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Allow to sit for several minutes, when no longer bubbling.
This recipe was shared with Foodies Read, Mix It Up Monday, Made By You Monday & Meal Plan Monday