The ultimate makeover: Chicken pie

The ultimate makeover: Chicken pie

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(69 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 45 mins


Serves 4
Angela Nilsen reinvents a classic recipe to make chicken pie a healthy choice for you

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal320
  • fat10g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs22g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre3g
  • protein34g
  • salt1.37g
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    For the filling

    • 450ml chicken stock, from a cube (I use Kallo, organic)
    • 100ml white wine
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 3 thyme sprigs


      This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

    • 1 tarragon sprig, plus 1 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves



      A popular and versatile herb, tarragon has an intense flavour that's a unique mix of sweet…

    • 225g carrots, cut into batons



      The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

    • 4 skinless chicken breasts, 500g/1lb 2oz total weight
    • 225g leeks, sliced



      Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

    • 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



      One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

    For the topping

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

      Rapeseed oil

      If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…


    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.

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    Comments (76)

    mand4ever's picture

    Made this for Sunday dinner. Family really enjoyed it. Will def make it again.

    claredaw's picture

    This is one that I keep coming back to, the whole family love it. I add sweetcorn to it and use puffed pastry sometimes too. Delicious.

    nicolaneesom's picture

    We loved this! Followed the recipe exact, and it was fab!

    suzieq1601's picture

    Very disappointed. I followed the recipe to the letter. It looked wonderful but was quite flavourless & had to add gravy as the pastry was very dry & floury. I'm really surprised as the reviews are all great, wonder if I did something wrong - won't be trying it again to find out!

    cheungy's picture

    the carrots didn't come out soft enough, this was probably due to the low heat I had it on. I already cut up the chicken into pieces before adding to stock. next time I'll try making with puff pastry. used single cream instead of creme fraiche and olive oil instead of rapeseed. the sauce didn't feel thick enough so added an extra tablespoon of cornflour to thicken. this was the first chicken pie I made, tasted alright, but I'm not really that bothered about eating low-fat, so I'll try making a more indulgent one next time!

    yummyfw's picture

    The whole family really enjoyed this! I like the filo topping, felt lighter and healthier than my normal pie but lovely flavours. Shall definately make this again.

    mrssallywalton's picture

    Fantastic. Only made to use up left over pastry, but well worth eat. Plates were clean all around.

    maelan's picture

    I'd be interested to try this with mash instead of pastry.

    Can anyone recommend what to use instead of creme fraiche because I am lactose intollerent? Thanks x

    hicksalison's picture

    One of the best pies I've made! The flavours were so subtle, the sauce was really creamy and we all loved the tarragon. My husband is not a fan of filo, but he even ate it all. I used dried tarragon also as our local shop had sold out of fresh, still delicious though. Would highly recommend this recipe.

    karan1's picture

    My Husband made this last night and it was lovely. Would highly recommend.

    bakingbecks's picture

    A beautiful pie i have made repeatedly though i always use puff instead of filo pastry as i don't like filo. Always well revived by family and guests.

    dawnozz's picture

    My family loved this and they have asked for it on the menu for next week. I added small pieces of potatoes with the carrots and used 1 cal spray as I didn't have any rapeseed oil, yummy

    toxic_twerp's picture

    Made this on a whim so had to make a few amendments due to ingredient shortages! Instead of leek/tarragon/Dijon/filo I used onion/bay leaf/mustard powder/puff pastry. Not a fan of creme fraiche so used up leftover elmlea instead. Easy to make, looked impressive, tasted great!! Sure to become a regular recipe.

    cowen84's picture

    made this for a dinner party and was so impressed with it. will definitely be making it again and my biggest critic, hubby, raved about it!

    winegirm's picture

    Easy to make and tasty!

    frances46's picture

    So tasty and so healthy, a perfect combination.

    loisgwilliam's picture

    Absolutely loved this, easy to make and was delicious - even better knowing it was healthy.

    tracypickle's picture


    Sarah Jones's picture

    Loved this easy to prepare and you'd never know you were eating a low fat meal. I'm on weight watchers and for 10propoints fab meal.

    ceearr47's picture

    This was a lovely alternative to traditional chicken pie. My family loved it and didn't even relaise they were eating a low fat version. The filo was especially good as it added a new texture.


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