Something about chicken pot pie conjures images of snow days when I watched others shovel snow from while I sat on the other side of the picture window all warm and lazy. My mom never made chicken pot pie; perhaps it was too exotic for middle Wisconsin, yet that’s how I remember it – snow day, chicken pot pie. Given that I live in Los Angeles now, I think through entertainment, and cannot think of chicken pot pie in any other way but this:

 

David Cross as Slow Donny warms my soul as much as chicken pot pie, but to fill my stomach, I go for the real deal.  We turn once again to South Beach Diet Cookbook because their recipes are easy and basic — 250 cals a serving. Instead of topping the pie with a lard blanket crust like a Marie Callender might, we use a few sheets of phyllo dough.  And if this phyllo dough is something you’ve only reached past in your grocer’s freezer on your way to the Sara Lee coffee cakes, I assure it’s worth a crack.  Thin pastry sheets that you brush a sliver of olive oil between and then top onto your pies or appetizers or fresh possum. Whatever is needing a crusty topping in your house.

As for the filling in chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie: chicken – peas – mushrooms – carrots – onions – stock – corn starch – and your job is done. The family will thank you and your belly will thank you.

chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie

preptime 10 minutes

cooktime 30 minutes

2 T + 2 t extra-virgin olive oil

12 small white mushrooms

1 small diced onion

1 t fresh thyme

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 c chicken stock

1 T cornstarch

1/2 c fat-free half & half

1/3 c carrots diced into small pieces

1/3 c fresh peas

4 sheets whole-wheat phyllo dough

S&P to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400º.
  2. Heat 2 t of  oil in large straight-sided skillet over medium heat.  Add onion & carrots cook for 2-3 minutes, add mushrooms and cook until lightly browned and softened.
  3. Add thyme and chicken.  Cook until chicken is firm and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk together broth and cornstarch and add to skillet along with half-and-half.  Bring mixture to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in peas, reduce heat to low, and cook 2 minutes.
  6. Season with S&P to taste and pour mixture into four individual dishes or a 9-inch ovenproof pie dish.
  7. Pour remaining olive oil into a small bowl. Lay 1 phyllo sheet on a clean work surface. Quickly (as if we have any other speed) brush the surface with a small amount of oil. Top with a second sheet of dough, then brush with more oil. Repeat until you’ve used all four sheets.
  8. If you have individual servings, with a scissors cut phyllo into four pieces to place on top of each serving dish, ideally leaving a 1/2″ border of overhanging dough.  For the larger pan, leave a 1″ border.  Crimp the edges around the serving dishes. Cut a small slit in the center of the phyllo to allow steam to escape.
  9. Bake until golden crisp, about 15 minutes.
crunchtimewarp (time-saving version)
  • Use frozen carrots and peas and canned mushrooms and add in at step #5.
  • Use 1/2 t dried thyme.
  • Make a double batch and freeze half for later use.  Thaw in refrigerator and bake according to directions.
Note: If you’ve never used phyllo dough before, it might be cumbersome and not pastry chef perfect, but your work will still be deliciously edible.  Keep playing. Phyllo dough adds a nice touch of home baking without big calories or a kitchen full of flour.

2 Comments

  1. Claudia says Jan 21st 2012 2:51 pm

    Found my way here through search for the SB chicken pot pie. Found 3 recipes on the first page to try. Looks like I’ve found some inspiration for my desire to cook healthier meals in a short(er) amount of time!

    • Sherri says Jan 22nd 2012 7:01 pm

      Claudia, So glad to have you here. We love ideas and tips for eating healthier in a crunch, so share when you can. Sherri

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