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Chicken Pot Pie – Like Grandma Made, with Less Guilt!

January 7, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie is one of those comfort foods that I just can’t resist.  It warms you up with it’s nostalgic flavor, but it isn’t exactly kind to your behind…typically loaded with butter and heavy cream, I’m not sure how much good all those veggies do for you.  So, instead of following a recipe, it was time to create my own and make it slightly better for you.  Yes, only slightly…so it’s a bit of a work in progress.  The cold nights are here, so try it out and forget about buying those frozen pot pies ever again.

  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup water + 1 bouillon cube
  • 1-2 sheets puff pastry or pie crust
  • egg wash (egg white + water)

Sprinkle your chicken with paprika and salt.  Using a non-stick pan, brown the chicken until just cooked (don’t overcook!).  Remove from heat and once cooled, dice the chicken and set aside.

If using puff pastry or pie crust on the bottom, follow the direction to pre-cook the bottom layer in your pie dish.  To make things healthier, only use puff pastry or pie crust for the top.

Drizzle the olive oil in your non-stick pan and sauté the garlic, onion, celery, carrots, and bell pepper until softened.

Sprinkle the vegetables with flour and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly add the chicken broth, constantly stirring to avoid lumps.  Bring to a simmer and add chicken, thyme, and bouillon (dissolved in 1/4 cup water – I use a paste called “Better than Bouillon”).  Simmer for 5-10 minutes until thickened.

Pour chicken and vegetable mixture over the cooked puff pastry or pie crust (if using) then top with puff pastry or pie crust.  I prefer to use puff pastry.  Brush egg wash over your crust.

Bake according to your puff pastry or pie crust directions.  A convection toaster oven makes things a bit quicker.

Once your top is a nice golden brown, remove from the oven and let is rest.  If you don’t, the sauce will still be thin and will ooze out like this:

 

PREP: 20 minutes    COOK: 40 minutes   SERVINGS: 6   LEVEL: Easy

This recipe isn’t as heavy as a cream based pot pie, so you can enjoy it with less guilt.  Oh, and no butter!  I had never had chicken pot pie with bell pepper before and am so glad that I threw it in.  The flavor from the bell pepper added a lovely sweet note and some additional nutrition.  Make sure to use yellow or orange since they are mild and sweet.  This is a great recipe to prep ahead of time – just make all of the filling in advance, pour into a pie dish, top with your prepared crust (skip the bottom) and bake.   And, this is a kid-friendly recipe…the entire pie was eaten so if you want leftovers, make two!

 

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