If you’re like us, you start craving hearty comfort foods when the weather takes a chilly turn. The warm, filling satisfaction of a bowl of chili, pot roast or steamy apple crisp is enough to cure even the harshest cases of winter blues. One of our favorite comfort food recipes is this chicken pot pie, which features a whole wheat crust and milk instead of cream for a healthy-yet-delicious twist on a classic.
You won’t find any condensed soup in this recipe as it’s made completely from scratch yet remains surprisingly simple to throw together. From start to finish it requires just one hour and yields four generous servings to feed even the hungriest of eaters in your home.
How does the whole wheat crust measure up to a traditional crust? It’s flaky, perfectly salted and undetectably healthy thanks to the addition of whole wheat pastry flour in place of all purpose. If you’re vegetarian, simply omit the chicken and compensate by adding more vegetables, or try another protein source such as white beans or quinoa.
Whole Wheat Chicken Pot Pie
Yields 4 generous servings
2 Tbsp light butter (such as Smart Balance)
1/2 cup carrots, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1/2 small onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp fresh thyme, mined or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 14 oz. can low sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp 2% milk
1/2 cup pre-cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 pie crust or 6 biscuits
Whole Wheat Pie Crust
yields 1 small crust
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp butter or margarine (light butter is optional)
4 – 5 Tbsp cold water
Method | First, prepare the crust: Mix salt with flour, cut in butter until well blended. Add enough water until the dough forms and scrapes away from the bowl (about 4-5 Tbsp). Roll out onto well-floured surface into the shape of your dish and set aside.
For the pot pie: Preheat oven to 425 degrees and adjust a rack to the lower-middle position. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, and about 1/4 tsp. salt and cook until soft (6-7 minutes). Stir in the garlic and thyme and stir, then add the flour and mix. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock, then add the milk. Simmer until the mixture is thickened (5-10 minutes).
Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Stir the chicken into the sauce and continue to simmer. Stir in the peas and and then pour into a 9×13 lightly-greased baking dish. Top with pie crust or biscuits and bake until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly (about 20-25 minutes). Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Once you master this recipe, you’ll never be intimidated by making pot pie from scratch again. Plus, it’s healthy as one of four generous servings contains just 358 calories, 30.6 g carbohydrates, 4.8 g fiber, and 11.5 g protein. This is healthy fall comfort food at its finest.
October 15th, 2012