Monday, October 25, 2010

Comfort food made healthier: Chicken Pot Pie

We've done beef stew, cupcakes and a couple of other comfort-food standbys. How about that old fave, chicken pot pie?
Here's a recipe from Cooking Light that does a lovely job lightening up this classic dish. Note that they do use puff pastry -- maybe not the healthiest ingredient but, as the magazine notes, a little bit of indulgence can still make it into a fit & lean lifestyle. (Thank goodness for that.)
In this recipe, you can use all those different root veggies or substitute the same overall amount with ones you have on hand, or whose taste you may prefer.

Recipe: Chicken and Root Vegetable Pot Pie
Serves 6-8

  • 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed peeled baking potato
  • 1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato
  • 1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed peeled celeriac (celery root)
  • 1 cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices parsnip
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen pearl onions
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 ounces), divided
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed

Preheat oven to 400°.

Bring broth to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add peas and next 5 ingredients (through onions) to pan; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes. Add chicken; cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken and vegetables from broth with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl.

Increase heat to medium. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place all but 1 tablespoon flour in a medium bowl; gradually add milk to bowl, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broth; cook for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in chicken mixture, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon flour on a work surface; roll dough into a 13 x 9-inch rectangle. Place dough over chicken mixture, pressing to seal at edges of dish. Cut small slits into dough to allow steam to escape; coat dough lightly with cooking spray. Place dish on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until pastry is browned and filling is bubbly.

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