The ultimate makeover: Chicken pie

The ultimate makeover: Chicken pie

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(97 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, questions and tips

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    8th Nov, 2012
    This is fab
    7th Nov, 2012
    I added celery and some spring onions as had them in the fridge. I only had dried thyme and I didn't use tarragon as I really dislike it. Was very nice and even my filo hating husband enjoyed it!
    5th Nov, 2012
    Absolutely delicious!
    thecherub's picture
    19th Sep, 2012
    This was great, my OH loved it even more than me! I almost entirely stuck to the recipe just adding mushrooms to his (I did individual pies). I also left out tarragon as I don't like it. Thought I could have added peas for more veg but it wasnt needed. Will make this again.
    18th Sep, 2012
    Absolutely beautiful just as it is. Husband loved it as well-he couldn't believe it was low fat. I used left over roast will become a regular in our house
    5th Sep, 2012
    I did this recipe for 6 and changed the quantities around a bit to use bacon and not carrot. I also made shortcrust pastry instead of filo and it was delicious! Very easy too.
    28th Aug, 2012
    I love this recipe but it takes me ages to make. Best made at the weekend so it can just be warmed up through the week after work.
    chefchipmunk's picture
    6th Aug, 2012
    Bit of a faff but well worth it! Served it with braised peas, broad beans and little gem lettuce.
    5th Jun, 2012
    Delicious. Added thick sliced ham at the same time as the leeks as well as frozen peas with the creme fraiche/mustard etc. Heated on the hob for a few more minutes then simply divided into 3 bowls and ate as was- very tasty and not too filling! Chicken was very tender and, as previously commented, the tarragon really makes the sauce.
    1st Jun, 2012
    Delicious, easy comfort food. Totally fan-flippin-tastic!!!!!!!!!


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