Lighter Chicken Pot Pies

Happy New Year!

As we dive into 2012, which is already promising to be a succulent and satisfying year for me, I find myself wanting a break from all the sugar-frosted sweet things I’ve been consuming and jumping on the bandwagon with all those who have a new year’s resolution to eat healthier.

How long this will last remains to be seen, but I have always been an advocate for the fact that healthy food is also delicious food, and despite what Paula Dean may have to say, you do not, in fact, need to use that entire stick of butter to create a tasty meal in your own home.

With the holiday ending, I’ve also found myself swimming in leftovers. The half-carved rotisserie chicken I used to make BBQ chicken pizza, the veggies left over from the veggies and dip platter, and the puff pastry sheet I didn’t use when I made (and subsequently parked myself in front of) baked brie.

Since moving into my very first apartment, I am determined to be all grown up and economical, so I sat and pondered what the heck I could make that would use up such a random assortment of leftover ingredients.

Then it hit me. A perfect excuse to use these adorable single serving dishes I stole rescued from my parents’ storage unit and empty out my fridge all at the same time. Chicken pot pies! But these are not just any pies. Oh no, this is a new year, and my waistline informed me I had better step my health game up, so I turned to my loyal companion, Cooking Light, and used a modified version of their recipe to empty my fridge and fill my tummy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 14 oz. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half
  • one puff pastry sheet, thawed

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. While the oven heats, chop your veggies, and melt the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Add the carrots, celery and onion to the pan with the butter and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and sage and sauté for 2 more minutes.

3. Add the wine and broth, then stir in the mustard. Bring to a boil and cook for about 4 minutes, or until liquid starts to evaporate.

4. Add the green beans and the chicken with the salt and pepper and mix to combine. Reduce to a simmer and add the water, half-and-half and flour to the mixture, stirring constantly to avoid burning on the bottom. Continue cooking until the mixture begins to thicken, about 2 minutes.

5. Spoon the chicken mixture into single serving, oven-safe dishes and top with puff pastry. I used a lattice pattern for mine, but covering it in a single sheet would work just as well.

6. Put the pies in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden brown. Serve and enjoy, but be sure to warn your guests that the dishes will be hot!

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