Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie: A Healthier twist on an American Classic

This recipe is a specific request from my mom. She wanted a recipe that would allow my parents to have some of their favorite foods, but would also allow them to not obliterate their diet in the process. Her requirements were as follows: No. 1-something that wasn’t completely artery clogging; No.2-something that wasn’t loaded with carbs (elevated blood sugar, etc); and No. 3- something tasty. So I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.
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Chicken pot pie is an iconic American dish filled with vegetables, chicken, and creamy sauce surrounded in flaky pastry. It also happens to be a dish my parents enjoy eating and the first thing to pop into my mind when walking into my kitchen lab. Instead of baking this in a pie shell with a pie crust topping, I cut down on carbs by cooking the filling in a Dutch oven and making a pie crust “crouton.” To me, the best part of chicken pot pie  is whipping out your spoon and cracking that flaky pastry over delicious filling. With the pie crust crouton approach, you keep that sensation, while still cutting down on some not-so-crucial carbohydrates.

It should be said that this recipe is not a non-fat-no-carb-unicorn that will magically not register on your daily caloric intake. However, it is a little healthier than the traditional recipe without any loss of flavor, which is still pretty magical if you ask me.

Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie (makes about 8 portions)

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Carrots and onions should be roughly the same size for even cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 4 carrots, chopped into ¼ inch pieces (don’t bother peeling them. Just give them a nice rinse)
  • 1 onion, chopped ¼ inch
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • I package of Baby Bella mushrooms, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup of Frozen peas
  • handful (about ¼ cup) Parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoons fresh Thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 premade pie crust (or you can make your own)
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for bushing the pie crust
  • 2 tablspoons flour
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

Equipment:

  • Dutch oven or large pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • fork
  • 2, 9” x 13” baking sheets lined with parchment or silicone baking sheets

The Process:

img_49881) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Unroll the pie crust (or roll out your own pie curst. You can even use this recipe). Cut the pie crust into 8 wedges and place on the baking sheets. Poke the pie crust with a fork (this helps keep the dough flat as it bakes). Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the wedges are golden brown.

2) Over medium heat, heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven for about 30 seconds. Add in the carrots and onion. Cook the onions and carrots until onions are translucent. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook until the mushrooms are soft.

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Use wine/stock to deglaze your pan making sure to scrape up all the delicious brown bits at the bottom of the pot.

3) When the vegetables are starting to soften, add the flour and garlic stirring vigorously with a spoon for about 1-2 minutes. The flour and juices from the vegetables will form a bit of a roux for thickening the sauce.

4) Add the wine and stock to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high until the wine and stock just begin to boil. Turn down the heat to medium low, so that the sauce can simmer (small bubbles-that’s a simmer). Let the sauce cook for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened. Make sure to stir the pot every 5 minutes or so. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to make sure the sauce doesn’t start to burn at the bottom of the pot.

5) Add the shredded chicken, frozen peas, and cream to sauce making sure to stir them into the sauce. Cook the sauce for a few minutes or until the peas are cooked through.

6) Add salt and pepper to taste. It is important to taste the sauce because store-bought stocks have already been seasoned with salt. As much as I love salt, not even I like overly salty food.

7) Serve the pot pie filling in a bowl and place a wedge of pie curst on top. Using a spoon, crack and break up that pie curst using a spoon and go to town on your slightly healthier, but just as yummy, chicken pot pie.

Cookies and Salt Note: If you want to cut carbs even more, make the pie crust croutons smaller (try cutting them into 1/16th instead of 1/8th).Craving the traditional chicken pot pie, calories be damned? You can still use this filing in your recipe. Just place it in a pie dish lined with pie crust, top with additional pie crust, and bake.

I received nothing for writing this post besides good food and maybe some brownie points with my parents. All photos c/o Jessica Kruse.

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