recipe remix: slimmed down chicken pot pies

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Thanks to friend Jessica Northenor, colleague Jennifer Blackwell, and my mother Donna Andrews, I now have a slimmed down version of chicken pot pie–and you do, too!

The #2 recipe remix is chicken pot pie, and I hope that it will be one of your new favorites.  My first thought with this dish was dread–what is chicken pot pie without the buttery, flaky crust?  I couldn’t possibly imagine a version without it, so I decided to cheat a little bit–by putting it only on the top and not lining the ramekin with it, I could still include my favorite part without totally wrecking a healthy eating plan.  I also cut out some of the richness in the filling by using 1% milk and less flour.

Typically, chicken pot pie includes the following staple veggies: onion, carrot, celery, green beans, and peas.  I used my CSA box as a guide and included the following in my recipe: onion, carrot, peas, kale, potatoes, and parsnips.  The addition of kale helped to round out this dish’s nutritional value, and let’s be honest: I love any excuse to include kale in a dish.  Don’t even get me started on this super food: loads of vitamin K, folic acid, fiber, and we know that any dark leafy green is a nutritional green light.

Let’s get started, shall we?  First, you make the soup base:

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Next, you cut out the puff pastry for the tops.  According the the Pepperidge Farm package, 1/6 of a sheet is one serving, so I cut each out like so:

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Next, I rolled them out to cover the lids of the ramekins I bought today at Robinson HomeRobinson Home is a fantastic kitchen store in downtown Macon, so if you live here, you should go there…like yesterday.  If you don’t live here, you should check out their website to order all things wonderful for your kitchen.  Next, I covered the soup-filled ramekins with the puff pastry and gave them a quick egg wash, then placed them in the oven at 400 degrees until they were golden brown.

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I coupled the pot pies with a simple green salad with beautiful watermelon radishes from our CSA.  They add the perfect pop of color to any salad, and just enough of a spice and crunch to compliment softer greens.

Nutritional breakdown: 13 Weight Watchers Points Plus, which roughly translates to about 650 calories.  Most pot pies are double this (1300+) because of more pastry and more full-fat dairy in the base.

Slimmed Down Chicken Pot Pies

Serves 8

5 bone in , skin on chicken thighs

6 garlic cloves

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

4 cups 1% milk

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. dried sage (or 1 Tbsp. fresh, chopped)

1 tsp. dried rosemary (or 1 Tbsp. fresh, chopped)

1 tsp. dried oregano (or 1 Tbsp. fresh, chopped)

1 tsp. dried chives (or 1 Tbsp. fresh, chopped)

1 cup carrots, diced

1/2 cup parsnips, diced

1/2 onion, diced

1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen

2 potatoes, diced

2 cups kale, cut into ribbons

1 1/3 sheets Pepperidge Farm puff pastry

1 egg

salt and pepper

Remove skin from chicken thighs and set aside.  Place chicken thighs in a large pot, add 1 tsp. salt, 3 garlic cloves, and the chicken skins, cover with water, and bring to a boil.  When the water is boiling, place a lid on the pot and turn the heat down to simmer.  Let cook for about 40 minutes.  When the time is up, drain the chicken and set aside to cool.  When chicken is cooled, discard the chicken skin and shred the chicken with your hands; discard of the bones.  Set shredded chicken aside.

Whisk together 1/2 cup water with 1/4 cup flour and set aside.  In a large pot, combine chicken broth and milk and bring to a boil.  When liquid is boiling, add the carrots, parsnips, onion, herbs, and 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper.  Place a lid on the pot, but leave a small vent between the lid and the pot; simmer for 20 minutes.  Next, add the diced potatoes and kale.  Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the chicken.  When the chicken is added, whisk in the water and flour mixture.

Preheat the over the 400 F.  Using kitchen scissors or a knife, cut the puff pastry sheets into 1/6 pieces.  roll each piece out to cover the lid of the oven-safe bowl or ramekins you’re using.  Ladle soup into each ramekin, then place the puff pastry pieces on top of them.  Whisk an egg into a small bowl and brush each puff pastry top with the egg wash.  Using a small knife, cut a 1-inch slit in the center of the puff pastry.  Place in the over for about 7-10 minutes, or until the puff pastry browns.  Plate each ramekin on a plate with a green salad and enjoy.

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