Alright so I’m on a diet, sorry Healthy Eating Plan, but that does not mean I can’t have any of the good old comfort foods I dream about, especially during these colder months.
A home made chicken pie is a firm family favourite – something my Mum first taught me to make and something that is now regularly on the table in our home, whether made by myself or my sister – and a dish I am really not willing to give up. And you know what, I don’t have to! Ok, so I have to limit the amount of pastry I have, and it’s not something I would have on a daily basis, but made from scratch and with ingredients chosen carefully, it’s something I can easily fit in to my available points quota. On top of that, it’s also packed with nutritious ingredients such as lean chicken breast for protein, spinach for iron and onion and garlic – both of which are known to help the body fight infection.
Here’s the slightly embarrassing bit… I actually have to get someone else to serve mine up for me as I know that left to my own devices, that small piece of pastry would become and big piece of pastry, and the 4 mini roasted new potatoes would increase to at least 6. Ahh it’s a constant struggle being so in love with delicious food, but given the option, I’m not sure I’d have it any other way!
So here’s how it’s done…
3 x skinless chicken breasts, cut in to bite sized pieces (or leftovers torn from Sunday’s roast chicken work amazingly well)
250g smoked bacon lardons/chopped quality bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
approx 8 mushrooms, chopped
4 x frozen chopped spinach balls
1 glass white wine (+ and extra 1 to drink!)
4 tbsp soy sauce (I actually don’t measure mine and just pour in to taste so play around with it)
Couple drops of Worcestershire Sauce
100ml double cream (optional)
White sauce – I ALWAYS use home made for this and am happy to give the recipe should you want it. You could use a ready made sauce but it really doesn’t give quite the same flavour, or feeling of satisfaction!
1 x puff pastry sheet – I’ll admit I rarely make my own. Making puff pastry is time consuming and pretty expensive, and the ready made options really are very good.
Fry up the onion in a couple of sprays of Frylite – for those not watching the calories, adding a couple of teaspoons of butter here gives a lovely flavour. When starting to softenn, throw in the garlic and continue to fry, before adding the lardons/bacon.
Once the bacon has browned, add the chicken and fry until it starts to colour.
Next to go in are the mushroom. Once they have softened pour in the white wine, Worcestershire Sauce, and soy sauce, then add your white sauce, stir and heat through.
Add the spinach balls and stir occasionally to disperse the spinach throughout the sauce as it defrosts and breaks down.
If using, add the cream. This gives a lovely creamy flavour but is certainly not necessary so again, if watching calories, just leave out.
Season with salt and pepper
Pour in to an oven dish and leave to cool.
Once cool, place puff pastry sheet over the top. For a quality looking finish, give pastry an egg wash then place in the oven. As the inside of the pie is cooked through, use cooking guidelines on your pastry for guidance. It’s generally 190 Celsius for around 20 mins, but do check fairly frequently in order to avoid the pastry burning.
Serve with your choice of veg
Filling, warming and very satisfying – and the warmed up leftovers the following day are possibly even better!