Chicken Pot Pie

by Anne Bennett on January 28, 2010

Most of us who are watching our weight have sworn off comfort foods such as chicken pot pie because of their high fat content. The crust is usually the biggest culprit, although the creamy white sauce that envelopes the chicken and vegetables can also pack a fatty punch.

So when my (excellent) Jazzercise instructor, Jenny, told me about a lighter recipe that she found in Martha Stewart’s magazine, “Everyday Food”, I was eager to try it. It’s been at least 15 years since my last taste of chicken pot pie and I was hoping to end the drought.

This version, which uses frozen phyllo sheets in place of pie crust, really fits the bill of real, honest-to-goodness chicken pot pie. It’s creamy and loaded with chunks of chicken and vegetables, it has a crispy topping and it’s the kind of comfort food that warms the soul as well as the body. As Martha says, “It’s a good thing.”

By the way, as we were enjoying this last night, we chatted about other vegetables we could add in future renditions. Chopped broccoli would work, even asparagus. Use your imagination and whatever you have on hand in the fridge or freezer.

One more tip, Cooking Light Magazine often uses Pillsbury pie crusts in their recipes, which is an option here in place of phyllo dough. It would add more fat and calories to the recipe, but the total increase would be minimal.

Here are leftovers from last night's dinner. Slightly drier but still delicious!

Here are leftovers from last night's dinner. Slightly drier but still delicious!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, 12 to 14 ounces each, cooked and cut into chunks
2 T. Olive oil
4 carrots, sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 t. dried thyme leaves ( I used poultry seasoning)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups low-fat (1%) milk
1 10-oz. package frozen peas, thawed
2 T. fresh lemon juice
6 frozen phyllo sheets, thawed*

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat the olive oil in large saucepan and add carrots, onion and thyme. Cook until carrots are crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly, until smooth. Cook until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens.

Remove from heat and stir in peas, lemon juice and chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste and pour filling into a 9″ deep-dish pie pan or a square pan.

Stack the phyllo sheets and using a paring knife cut them into a shape that fits the pan you are using. Place two of the cut sheets on a work surface and either brush them with a bit of olive oil or spray them with an oil mister. Repeat with remaining sheets and then stack them over the filling. Press down about 1/2 inch from the edge so the dough fits inside the rim of the pan. Bake until golden and bubbling, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

Serves: 4

*The maker of Athens Phyllo sheets recommends removing the thawed phyllo you need for your recipe, then re-rolling and re-wrapping the remainder in plastic and refreezing for up to 9 months.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda January 31, 2010 at 8:08 am

Thanks so much, Anne! It’ll be a few weeks before I tackle this, but I very much want to do so!

Gwyn January 4, 2012 at 10:25 am

Made this last night & it was very yummy. I did have to add salt & pepper to the filling for our tastes but the flaky crust on top was perfect!

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