Friday, December 12, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie

I've been working on creating a healthy (and delicious) chicken pot pie for a while now.  I've looked over a ton of different recipes, and played around with various ideas, and I can say with absolute certainty that I have definitely come up with a winner.  The weather was chilly last night, and my husband built a roaring fire in the fireplace, so I figured it was the perfect night for a hearty chicken pot pie.  To make my pie as healthy as possible, I made it bursting with my favorite winter vegetables.  Feel free to adapt the vegetables to your own taste; just try to keep the amount of vegetables roughly the same to make sure that there is enough filling for the gravy (for example, if you'd rather not use parsnips, increase the carrots from 2 to 3, or substitute a potato instead).  When developing the recipe, I toyed with the idea of finding a substitute for the pie crust (like phyllo), but ultimately decided that real pie crust is the best part of pot pie, so it would be almost sacrilegious to remove it.  So I only used one pie crust as opposed to the traditional two, to keep the calorie and carbs low without sacrificing the integrity of the dish.  The result?  A healthy yet hearty chicken pot pie that is under 500 calories for a nice large serving.  Most's comfort food at its best: warm, filling, and full of rich flavor.

Chicken Pot Pie
Serves 5-6

1 lb Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped fine
1 Celery Stalk, diced
2-3 Carrots, peeled and diced
2 Parsnips, peeled and diced
8 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
3-4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme (or 1 tsp Dried Thyme)
2 tsp Poultry Seasoning
1 tsp Salt (or more, to taste)
1/4 tsp Pepper
3/4 Cup Fresh or Frozen Peas
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
3 Tbsp All Purpose or Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock
1/3 Cup White Wine
2/3 Cup Whole Milk
9" Pie Crust


1.  Adjust oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Set out pie crust so it can come to room temperature.

2.  In a medium sized dutch oven (or pot), add the chicken and cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Lower heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.  Drain the chicken, and let it rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes.  Shred into bite sized pieces when cool and set aside.

3.  Heat the now empty dutch oven to medium, and add the olive oil.  Toss in the onion, celery, carrots, parsnip, and mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add in the garlic, all the seasonings, and sauté for an additional minute. Next, stir in the shredded chicken and peas, and cook for one more minute.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

4.  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  When the butter has completely melted, add in the flour.  Cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.  Next, slowly pour in the chicken stock, turn the heat to medium high, and continue to constantly whisk.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute or until it thickens.  Pour in the milk and wine, and cook until it thickens again, about 3 more minutes.

5.  Pour the sauce over the chicken-vegetable mixture in the dutch oven, and stir to combine.  Do a taste test and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Spoon the entire mixture into a 9 x 13 or a 2 1/2 quart baking dish.  Roll out pie crust so it is slightly bigger than the baking dish, and cover the dish with the crust, pressing down the edges to seal.  Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

6.  Bake in a 400 degree oven until the crust is golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Serving Size:  1/5th of Entire Dish
Calories:  435
Fat:  19
Carbs: 37
Protein: 28


Feeling lazy?  Go buy a rotisserie chicken and shred that instead of cooking raw chicken breasts.

Feeling even lazier?  Buy a big bag of frozen mixed vegetable and use that instead of cutting and preparing fresh vegetables.  It won't taste as good, mind you, but it will be a lot easier.  It won't need to be sautéed for very long (or maybe not at all?) if you do this.  

Don't care about carbs or calories?  Use two 9" pie crusts, and layer on the bottom, and pour the chicken-vegetable mixture over it, then cover with the other one.

Don't like or have Thyme?  Use Sage and/or Parsley (fresh or dried) instead.

Not in the mood for chicken?  Try shredded roast turkey instead.

Freezes great.   Freeze unbaked without the crust, thaw when you are ready to use, add the pie crust, and then bake as directed, just add some extra time on.

Don't like pie crust?  You can cover with biscuit dough or croissant dough instead...or phyllo. 

1 comment:

  1. Ohhh yum! Chicken Pot pie is one of my favorites! And is perfect for this chilly season :) I can't wait to try it!