Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pie in the pot (or casserole dish)

My mom used to stock up on frozen chicken pot pies to have on hand for emergency dinners on nights when she didn't have time to cook, so I don't think I've actually had a pot pie since pre-college days.  But I recently found this recipe and was inspired to cook this fresh (and of course low-cal) take on typical pot pie!  I made just a couple of tweaks, slightly reducing the spices, using all sweet potato, and subbing broccoli in for the peas since my sig-o has a pea aversion.
Ingredients (adapted from meals and moves!):
-3 cups chicken broth
-1 large yam, peeled and chopped into small pieces
-1 cup carrots, chopped into small pieces
-1 cup celery, chopped into small pieces
-2 cups frozen cipollini onions
-2 cups frozen broccoli
-2 large chicken breasts, chopped into small pieces
-1.5 tsp poultry seasoning (or another seasoning blend you like)
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp dried thyme
-1 tsp dried basil
-1.5 cups milk
-1/3 cup wheat flour
-3/4 cup quinoa (3/4c dry to make approx 1.5 cups cooked)
-2 tbsp cornstarch
-phyllo dough for topping
To start, I microwaved my frozen onions and broccoli for about 1.5 minutes, just enough so that I could drain out some excess water.  Then I brought the 3 cups chicken broth to a boil in a large pot, and I tossed in all the veggies (onions, broccoli, celery, carrots, sweet potato).  I kept the pot on high heat covered for about 8 minutes to tenderize the veggies and get them to soak up the broth. I watched the pot while it was on high heat to keep it from bubbling over!  If you like to multi-task, you can also grill up your chicken breasts while your pot is boiling.
Next I added the chicken and the spices to the pot (yes, that's Mickey Mouse poultry seasoning I used). Note that I put a tsp of black pepper in my dish and actually wished I would have left it out because my poultry seasoning already had a bit of pepper. If you really love pepper, you may still want to sprinkle a little in even though it's not on the ingredient list at top.
Then I whisked together the milk, wheat flour, and cornstarch. After it was well-blended, I drained all the chicken broth liquid from the pot (using the lid to keep the veggies and chicken in the pot), and I poured the drained broth directly into the mixing bowl with the milk/flour/cornstarch. After blending the broth in with the milk mix, I poured all the liquid back in the pot with the meat/veggies, and it really thickened up (thanks to the cornstarch)!
Finally, I added the quinoa to the mix (I'd gone the quick route and cooked the 3/4 cup of dry quinoa with water in the microwave- the micro can cook it up in 6 minutes time!). I drained excess water from the quinoa, then poured it into the pot with everything else.
Then I poured the entire pot (which was very full at this point!) into my 13x9" casserole dish. I topped it with a few layers of phyllo dough (it's so thin that you need a few layers to get a nice flakey crust!) and I popped the whole thing in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
 And it cooked up like so:
 Light, flavorful, and delicious with so many ingredients to love!

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