In my kitchen, I have a shelf of cookbooks, as well as a folder of recipes that I pulled from various magazines over the years. One of the recipes I’ve gone to time and again is one for chicken pot pie that was published in Essence magazine in 2004. I made the recipe early in my marriage, and it was a hit!
Then I stopped making it, because I didn’t want to get too comfy with the heavy cream that figures prominently in the sauce.
Fast forward a couple of years, and I noticed that my Chobani yogurt container said that Greek yogurt can make a nice substitute for the heavy cream. I recalled my beloved recipe from the past, and decided to try the suggested tweak.
It worked! I couldn’t taste any tell-tale yogurt sourness, just creaminess, and the other flavors in the recipe.
These days I don’t have as much time to devote to elaborate recipes–this one involved chopping vegetables, pulling chicken from bones and chopping it, and making a sauce–so I decided to experiment and see how I could make a faster, healthier chicken pot pie. I have found something that fits the bill.
Cooked chicken (mine came from 8 pieces of chicken that I had roasted previously)
1 bag of Bird’s Eye Steamers peas and garlic sauce, heated in the microwave
1 /2 bag steamed cauliflower (mine was store brand), heated and chopped into bite-size pieces
1/2 c fat-free Greek yogurt
1 c chicken broth
1 frozen puff pastry sheet
Garlic powder, pepper, and dried (or fresh) tarragon to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take the puffy pastry sheet out of the package, unfold it, and lay it flat to thaw out.
Dice the chicken. Add the chicken, vegetables, yogurt and chicken broth to a large pan and mix the ingredients together. Add the seasonings and mix some more. Heat the mixture over medium heat until heated through.
When heated, add the mixture to a 13×9 baking pan. Top with puff pastry sheet, stretching it out as needed.
Place the pan in the oven, uncovered, and bake until the puff pastry is lightly browned and crispy, approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
When cooked, cut into 9 pieces.
Notes: to hasten up the chicken step, which took the longest by far, buy a rotisserie chicken to pick apart and dice. Or faster still, a rotisserie turkey breast, to avoid de-boning altogether. You could also try several cans of canned chicken, but I’m not the biggest fan of its taste myself.
Go with your favorite vegetables, or whatever you have on hand. You could probably get away with adding frozen vegetables, if you heat up the chicken and liquids enough first.
Double the quantity of liquid if you want something with a little more sauce.
The puff pastry box will tell you to brush the pastry sheet with a mixture of egg white and water. I don’t do that anymore, and the pastry pretty much tastes and looks the same to me.
Question of the day: Have you lightened up any of your favorite recipes? Which ones? How’d it go? If you’re a blogger, leave a link and share your story!