The ultimate makeover: Chicken pie

The ultimate makeover: Chicken pie

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(59 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 45 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 4

Angela Nilsen reinvents a classic recipe to make chicken pie a healthy choice for you

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Healthy
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
320
protein
34g
carbs
22g
fat
10g
saturates
4g
fibre
3g
sugar
7g
salt
1.37g

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 450ml chicken stock, from a cube (I use Kallo, organic)
  • 100ml white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tarragon sprig, plus 1 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves
  • 225g carrots, cut into batons
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, 500g/1lb 2oz total weight
  • 225g leeks, sliced
  • 2 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 heaped tbsp chopped flat-leaf or curly parsley

For the topping

  • 70g filo pastry (I used three 39 x 30cm sheets)
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil

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Method

  1. Pour the stock and wine into a large, wide frying pan. Add the garlic, thyme, tarragon sprig and carrots, bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for 3 mins. Lay the chicken in the stock, grind over some pepper, cover and simmer for 5 mins. Scatter the leek slices over the chicken, cover again then gently simmer for 10 more mins, so the leeks can steam while the chicken cooks. Remove from the heat and let the chicken sit in the stock for about 15 mins, so it keeps moist while cooling slightly.
  2. Strain the stock into a jug – you should have 500ml (if not, make up with water). Tip the chicken and veg into a 1.5 litre pie dish and discard the herb sprigs. Pour the stock back into the sauté pan, then slowly pour in the cornflour mix. Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraîche, mustard, chopped tarragon and parsley. Season with pepper. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  3. Tear or cut the chicken into chunky shreds. Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture, then stir everything together.
  4. Cut each sheet of filo into 4 squares or rectangles. Layer them on top of the filling, brushing each sheet with some of the oil as you go. Lightly scrunch up the filo so it doesn’t lie completely flat and tuck the edges into the sides of the dish, or lay them on the edges if the dish has a rim. Grind over a little pepper, place the dish on a baking sheet, then bake for 20-25 mins until the pastry is golden and the sauce is bubbling. Serve immediately.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, February 2011

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Comments

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schaffles's picture

it was soooooooo good!

schaffles's picture

i was a bit skeptical about making this, thought it would be a bit naff but it was so tasty, got my friend licking the plate clean!!!!! i also added a bunch of cup mushrooms, and having a glass of wine while cooking ensures it will taste 100% better than it already does (although it was tasty anyway)... slight effort but will DEFINITELY be making this again!

sllyst's picture

I had high hopes for this. My low calorie diet was taking it's toll on my resolve but this pie was light, filling and tasty considering how healthy it is. Yes it is a bit of faffing about but i would make it again.

mrswright_x's picture
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It's quite lovely after all the waiting around! I didn't have any creme fraiche or dijon mustard, so instead I used American mustard and a can of green lentils which thickened it up and added a bit more heartiness to it. I think I'd add a bit less tarragon next time as the flavour is quite overpowering, but would definitely make it again!

jcweller's picture

The flavour of the filling was really nice and the filo topping was a good change from heavier pastries. The chicken however turned out really tough - I'm not sure how this was the case as I followed the recipe and I would have thought poaching it would have resulted in some lovely meat. I will try again but perhaps using leftover roast chicken.

llighton's picture

Fantastic recipe which I have used twice in a week after it featured in Good Food healthy eating plan. I followed the recipe exactly except for making four individual pies rather than one big one. Truly delicious and shows that eating healthily doesn't have to be dreary.

kirstienic's picture

Very good - the only give away that it might be healthy is the filo topping. I made the filling in advance when I had time and put in the fridge, then I just topped it with the filo and put it in the oven when I got in from work (it needed arouond 5 minutes longer to heat through) for a quick mid week meal. The tarragon really makes it flavourwise - it tasted great and my husband and kids loved it too.

japhie's picture

I made this for me and my girlfriend last night and it was yummy! I didn't have the herbs or creme fraiche in the fridge so used some curry powder, spices and tinned tomatoes instead. Then i left out the carrots and stirred in some garam masala instead of the mustard. In the end i decided to leave out the pastry and serve with rice and chopped coriander instead of the parsley. Will definitely make again!

kimnpat's picture

that's sounds nice but if your honest you didn't make the pie at all did you! well done tho :0)

Grace Lehane's picture

So basically you made a curry????

thirteengloves's picture
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^_^

jenny019's picture
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This recipe is so good!
I decided to ladle the mixture onto the filo and made 4 filo parcels instead of a pie.
I cooked two and saved the other two in the fridge to have the next night. I looked forward to them all day.

jackandstuart's picture
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Made this tonight for a family dinner and it went down a storm. The filo adds a nice lighter touch but overall the pie still feels very hearty. Will be making this again.

brummers11's picture
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used puff pastry instead and was delicious! Even pleased my mum and dad with this around christmas time!

jernlm's picture
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Sorry, I didn't like it! Tasted really bland, don't know where it went wrong but won't bother again:(

jwadley's picture
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Me and my mum made this for my dads birthday, and I have to say, it was really nice, quite easy to make, and there was a lot of waiting at the start. Pastry was difficult to handle and easily ripped, serve with mash, mini sweetcorn and peapods

pfj1957's picture
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I didn't want to open a bottle of White Wine but, as always, I found that Cider makes a good alternative. I also added 125g of exotic mushrooms to the chicken and added a tin of mixed peas/carrots instead of leeks as I had no leeks in the fridge. Everything else was keep the same expect the cooking time was shortened due to no leeks to be softened.

The result was an excellent pie which i will be extemporizing on in the future - I quite fancy trying it with shallots instead of leeks.

sarahk's picture
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Followed as instructed (except adding a little more cornflour as suggested by reviewers to thicken sauce). I have never cooked with filo pastry - actually I'm not sure if I have ever eaten filo pastry!. My husaband and I agreed that the pie mixture was very good (I'm not sure it needed the extra thickening and will use just the 2 tblsp of cornflour advised in recipe next time) We agreed that this pie would have tasted much more robust and comforting with a puff pastry - so I will give this a try next time.
Any quick ideas how to use up the filo pastry I have left. I have frozen blackberries - any ideas?

winkypi3's picture
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I really enjoyed this recipe, it tastes amazing and is really simple to make, even for an amateur like myself. I wasn't sure on the tarragon as I'm not overly keen on it, but I used it anyway and I'm please I did because it made the pie taste even more special. I agree with earlier comments about adding peas, or mushrooms just to give it some extra substance. Also agree with comments that the sauce wasn't quite as thick as expected and will definitely use more cornflour next time!
All in all I loved it and I will definitely make it again.

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