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
- Preheat oven to 400º.
- 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.
- Add thyme and chicken. Cook until chicken is firm and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- 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.
- Stir in peas, reduce heat to low, and cook 2 minutes.
- Season with S&P to taste and pour mixture into four individual dishes or a 9-inch ovenproof pie dish.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake until golden crisp, about 15 minutes.
- 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.