Speedy Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pies


Pie in the sky. This ain’t a pie.

I didn’t find Speedy Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pies from the Hairy Dieters particularly speedy. Nor did they remind me of pies. But apart from that, this chicken and vege recipe is a decent feed and just 267 calories per portion.

The filo pastry topping is a clever, lighter way to create a pie-like crunch when you bite into it, but let’s not get carried away, this definitely isn’t a pie in the conventional sense. I couldn’t be arsed to divide the filling into 4 individual pie dishes – that might have accounted for why it took much longer than the suggested 24 minutes of cooking time to ensure the 500ml of chicken stock had sufficiently reduced down.

Still pining for a pie? Check out mince and vegetable pie with tumbled spuds, cottage pie, or the quirkier tortilla chilli pie.

Recipe: Speedy Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pies

Calories: 267 per portion

Serves: 4

Book: Hairy Dieters – Eat for Life

Prep time: Approx 20 minutes

Cooking time: Approx 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 rindless lean smoked back bacon rashers
  • Oil, for spraying
  • 150g button mushrooms (wiped and halved)
  • 1 slender leek (trimmed and finely sliced)
  • 2 skinless boneless roast chicken breasts (about 200g, cut into small pieces), or lean leftover chicken
  • 25g plain flour
  • 500ml chicken stock (made with 1 stock cube)
  • 150g broccoli (cut into small florets)
  • 75g frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp half-far crème fraiche
  • 3 sheets of filo pastry (each about 45g)
  • Flaked sea salt
  • Ground black pepper

Cost per portion: Approx £1.04

Method:

Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7. Trim any visible fat off the bacon rashers and cut them into strips about 1.5cm wide. Mist a large non-stick saucepan with oil and place it over a medium heat. Add the bacon to the pan, then stir in the mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes, stirring regularly until they are beginning to brown.

Add the leek and chicken and cook for 1 minute more, stirring. Sprinkle over the flour and cook for a few seconds before gradually adding the stock, just a little at a time.

Bring to a simmer and season well with a pinch of salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Add the broccoli florets and peas and bring the water back to a simmer. Cook for 4 minutes, while stirring, until the sauce thickens, then remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraîche.

Divide the mixture between 4 individual pie dishes – each will need to hold about 350ml. Spray each sheet of filo pastry with oil and cut them into 4 wide strips. Working quickly, top each dish with 3 strips of the filo, oiled-side up, crumpling and scrunching them loosely as you go.

Place the dishes on a baking tray and bake the pies in the centre of the oven for 12–15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbling.

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