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Pot pie: A classic comfort minus the fat





If you pass on classic comfort food because you are concerned about its usual fat and calorie count try this French toast-topped chicken potpie. A few ingredient changes help make the sauce and topping, the place where the fat hides in traditional recipes, healthier while keeping flavor you remember.

If you pass on classic comfort food because you are concerned about its usual fat and calorie count try this French toast-topped chicken potpie. A few ingredient changes help make the sauce and topping, the place where the fat hides in traditional recipes, healthier while keeping flavor you remember.

Chicken potpie may be a classic comfort food, but it’s hard to feel good about the amount of fat in most recipes.

The chicken and vegetables in it are fine, but a puff pastry or pie crust topping and a rich cream sauce inside can more than off set those.

This recipe can be rescued with a few easy fixes.

For the sauce, try an easy lowfat bechamel. Whisk together 6 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with 3 cups of low-fat milk.

Bring to a boil over medium heat until the mixture thickens and boils, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in a beaten large egg.

Flavor with a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese or chicken broth.

As for the crust topping, there are a few options.

You could go the shepherd’s pie route and layer low-fat mashed potatoes over your fillings.

Just sprinkle the potato topping with a bit of paprika for color, then bake until golden-brown.

We also like the idea of using a French toast-style topping.

Using an unsweetened version of the egg-dipped breakfast favorite creates a crispy, golden upper crust.

If you like, you can cut the fat and cholesterol a bit by making the French toast topping with egg substitute rather than whole eggs.

FRENCH TOAST-TOPPED CHICKEN POTPIE

Start to finish: 40 minutes (20 minutes active)
Servings: 6

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
15 1/2-ounce can reducedsodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups cubed (1/2 inch) butternut squash
2 cups cooked and shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup frozen baby peas
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried herbs de Provence (or thyme)
1/3 cup low-fat milk
2 large eggs
6 slices firm white bread, halved diagonally, crusts trimmed

Heat the oven to 450 F. Coat an 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large saucepan over low, heat the butter and olive oil until the butter is melted. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute.

Gradually whisk in the broth. Increase the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the sauce simmers and thickens, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the squash and continue simmering, stirring often, until the squash is nearly tender, about 4 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the chicken, peas, sour cream, lemon juice, salt, pepper and herbs.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

In a shallow bowl or pie plate, whisk together the milk and eggs.

Dip 2 triangles of bread at a time in the egg mixture until soaked.

Arrange the slices over the top of the filling in the baking dish.

Bake until the bread is goldenbrown on top, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Alternatively, the recipe can be prepared in individual ramekins. For ease, arrange ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet before filling.
 


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