1 protein – 2 vegetables – 2 starches – 1 fat
This week is our third recipe for Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and I just couldn’t resist an opportunity to chat about childhood comfort foods. For me, it was chicken pot pie. Nothing makes me feel more loved than a steamy bowl of chicken and vegetables covered in a flaky crust. With that, I present to you a kid-friendly labor of love: chicken pot pie. I never would have dreamed that an on-plan chicken pot pie could exist–but it does. Here is how it works:
Start with the crust. Crust is made with butter and flour mixed together with a touch of ice water. The cold butter forms little pockets of fat in the flour that puff and crisp when you bake it. Traditional crust uses a lot of butter and a lot of flour, but do we really need that big portion of crust to feel satisfied? No, we definitely do not. And with whole wheat flour being on plan at the rate of two tablespoons per serving (a starch), and margarine being on plan at the rate of one tablespoon per serving (a fat), the ratios for me to try an on-plan whole wheat crust were exactly what I needed. Keep in mind that margarine does not harden quite like butter, so keep your crust in the freezer instead of the fridge right up until it’s time to bake.
Then comes that delicious gravy. Again, flour for thickness mixed with milk for creaminess mixed with flavor (such as chicken and vegetable broth)–all things that I can replicate on-plan. By coating the chicken breast cubes in flour before cooking them, I was able to keep the chicken from drying out. And all those little bits of stuck-on flour and chicken created the base for my gravy.
You can make this in a single casserole dish (feel free to double or triple the recipe) or in individual serving ramekins. I have not tried freezing a cooked portion, but I imagine that it would freeze quite well but suggest that you reheat it in the oven to preserve that flaky crust.
I hope this belly-warming treat hits the spot for you and your kids just like it did for me.
- 1/4 C. whole wheat flour (4 tablespoons)
- 1 tsp. dried sage
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. Morton® Lite Salt, divided
- 2 Tbsp. lite margarine, very cold (can be placed in freezer for an hour)
- 1/4 C. ice water
- 12 oz. chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 stalks celery, thinly sliced on the bias
- 1/2 C. button mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 1 potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 10 green onions, sliced
- 1 C. water
- 1 packet of SlimGenics Chicken Bouillon
- 1/2 C. skim milk
- 1/4 C. fresh parsley, minced
From the 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour, remove 1 tablespoon and place in a gallon-size zip-top bag. Add sage, garlic powder, black pepper, and half of salt. Shake lightly to combine. Set aside.
In a food processor, add remaining flour and salt. Add margarine in small bits to flour in food processor. Pulse mixture 5-6 times or until it resembles coarse meal. Using a teaspoon, add ice water through shoot at the top of the processor while pulsing mixture, one teaspoon at a time, just until mixture comes together into a ball (you will not use all of water, discard any remaining water). Immediately remove dough to a piece of wax paper. Top with a second sheet of wax paper and flatten into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Add chicken pieces to the flour mixture in the zip-top bag and shake well to coat. Heat a large, nonstick sauté pan over high heat. When hot, spray generously with zero-calorie cooking spray and add chicken pieces. Reduce heat to medium and cook chicken until well browned on all sides. Remove to a plate and spray pan with additional cooking spray. Add celery, mushrooms and potatoes. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add green onions and stir well.
Dissolve bouillon in water and add to vegetable mixture in pan, scraping the bottom to remove cooked on bits. Add milk and mix well. Return cooked chicken to mixture along with any accumulated juices on plate. Increase heat and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Add parsley.
Divide mixture between two baking dishes coated with cooking spray, or cook in a single dish.
Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap. Divide dough into two equal portions. One portion at a time, place dough between two sheets of wax paper and roll into a circle large enough to cover the baking dish. Drape dough on top of chicken mixture, tucking dough around mixture to eliminate any air pockets. Pierce in 2-3 places with a sharp knife to vent. Repeat with second portion of dough.
Place baking dishes on a cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and crisp. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 2 servings