My husband requested an informal meal to celebrate his birthday with family. So I found a lighter version of a comfort food classic - Chicken Potpie with Root Vegetables. I have always loved potpies. What's better than a dish with smooth flavor packed gravy, soft vegetables and chicken topped with buttery puffed pastry? With that said, I rarely let myself enjoy them because they tend to be a fairly heavy meal. So, when I saw that Cooking Light put this recipe on the cover of the September 2007 issue, I saved it for a special occasion. Now that I've tried it and received good reviews, I'll definitely put it on rotation for a dinner party option. I would make some minor changes to the recipe below. My thoughts follow:
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed peeled baking potato object
1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato
1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed peeled celeriac (celery root)
1 cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices parsnip
1 (10-ounce) package frozen pearl onions
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 ounces), divided
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
Preheat oven to 400°. Bring broth to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add peas and next 5 ingredients (through onions) to pan; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes. Add chicken; cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken and vegetables from broth with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl.
Increase heat to medium. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place all but 1 tablespoon flour in a medium bowl; gradually add milk to bowl, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broth; cook for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in chicken mixture, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon flour on a work surface; roll dough into a 13 x 9-inch rectangle. Place dough over chicken mixture, pressing to seal at edges of dish. Cut small slits into dough to allow steam to escape; coat dough lightly with cooking spray. Place dish on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until pastry is browned and filling is bubbly.
Yield 8 servings
Instead of using a casserole dish, I put the chicken mixture in individual ramekins (10 ounce mini-casserole dishes) and gave them individual puff pastry tops. I was able to put five of them on a baking sheet. They looked so cute. It's worth cleaning the extra dishes. Everyone loved having their very own pot pie.