Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Skinny Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie.  You either love it or hate it.  I hated this comfort dish with a passion growing up.  I remember when Mom was working or in school and it was Dad's night to cook (before I decided to learn to cook to help him out).  Pot pies were one of his things and I would literally cry my eyes out and go to bed hungry before I ate one.  I've decided to rediscover chicken pot pies twenty or so years later, giving it my own spin.  Inspiration for this recipe comes from Cooking Light's recipe, but I have significantly modified the recipe.  I changed a number of the vegetables they used, plus I used phyllo dough instead of puff pastry.  I LOVE phyllo dough (crispy, light, crunchy, yummy) and it is much much healthier than puff pastry.  The outcome was pretty tasty and makes a great dinner on a chilly evening or a night you're craving some hearty comfort food (without the hearty calories).

 Ingredients:
4 Cups Sodium-Free Chicken Broth
1 1/2 Cups Frozen Green Peas (Thawed)
2 Small Yellow or White Potatoes
1 Medium-Large Sweet Potato
4 Stalks Celery
3 Carrots
1 lb. Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless)
2/3 Cup Whole-Wheat Flour
1 13/4 Cups Skim Milk
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley (or 4 Tbsp. Dried)
1 tsp. Thyme
1 tsp. Black Pepper
1/3 Package Phyllo Dough (12 sheets)

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large stockpot.  Chop/dice potatoes, celery, and carrots.  Add to stockpot. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
2.  Cut chicken (not cooked) into small 1-2" pieces.  Add to broth and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Remove veggies and chicken from broth with a slotted spoon.  Set aside.
3.  Turn heat back up to medium and slowly add flour and milk to broth, whisking well.  Continue to cook about 5-10 minutes, or until thickened.
4.  Add chicken and veggies to the thickened broth.  Stir in parsley and black pepper.

5.  Spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.  Lay 6 phyllo sheets on the bottom of the dish.  Spoon mixture on top of phyllo dough.
6.  Carefully place remaining 6 sheets of dough over chicken mixture, and press the edges to the pan to seal in the chicken mixture.  Cut 3-4 small slits in the dough for steam to escape.  Spray with cooking spray.  Place dish on foil-lined baking sheet (just in case it bubbles over).
7.  Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, or until pastry is lightly browned and mixture is bubbling.

Serve hot and enjoy!
Note: if you plan on reheating leftovers (as we definitely had to do--then add a little bit of skim milk before reheating in the microwave so the reheated portion is not pasty).

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