This is Ellie Krieger’s Chicken Pot Pie with Phyllo Crust. / Renee Comet/USA WEEKEND; Food Styling/ Lisa Cherk
These sumptuous pot pies have a crisp, flaky crust made of layers of phyllo, a paper-thin Greek pastry dough that’s a deliciously lighter alternative to typical pastry dough. It’s considerably healthier, too, since it’s brushed with olive oil rather than butter. You can find phyllo in the freezer section of the grocery store and use it to form a crispy cover for all kinds of goodies, from savory pies like these to sweet fruit-filled pockets.
The phyllo crust adds a certain elegance to these homey pies that are chock-full of chicken, green vegetables and fresh herbs, all smothered in a rich-tasting creamy sauce made with non-fat milk thickened with flour — no cream necessary. And they look and smell as alluring as they taste, which gives pot-pie satisfaction to all your senses in a much better-for-you way.
Chicken Pot Pie with Phyllo Crust
• Cooking spray
• 1 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into ½-inch chunks
• 1 tsp. salt
• ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 3 Tbs. olive oil
• 2 leeks, bottom 4 inches only, trimmed, washed well and chopped
• 2 stalks celery, chopped (about ½ cup)
• 2 medium white potatoes, left unpeeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
• ½ pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in ½-inch pieces
• 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsps.)
• 1½ cups non-fat milk
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
• 1 cup peas, thawed if frozen
• 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1 Tb. chopped fresh thyme
• 3 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
• 2 Tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat 4 individual-size baking dishes with cooking spray.
Season the chicken with ¼ tsp. of salt and ¼ tsp. of pepper. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tsps. of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown, about 2½ minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
To the pan, add 2 tsps. more oil, the leeks and celery. Cook, stirring a few times. Add the potatoes, green beans, garlic and the remaining salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring to combine everything. Add the milk.
Stir the flour into the broth until dissolved and add to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Stir in the chicken, peas, parsley and thyme. Spoon the mixture into the baking dishes.
Put the remaining oil in a small dish. Unroll the phyllo dough and cut it into quarters. Place a quarter-sheet of phyllo on top of each baking dish and brush with the oil. Repeat layering with all three layers. Tuck the edges of the phyllo into the dish rim. Sprinkle the top of each pie with the Parmesan.
Place on a baking sheet and bake until the filling is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.
Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 615 calories, 70g carbohydrates, 50g protein, 16.5g fat (3.5g saturated), 88mg cholesterol, 8g fiber, 960mg sodium
Recipe reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Taunton Press Inc., from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life, by Ellie Krieger. Copyright by Ellie Krieger.