When I was little my mother made chicken pot pie for Sunday dinner. It was a real production: cooking the chicken, cutting the meat, stirring the sauce, and making the crust. Though you can buy frozen pot pies, they tend to be high in fat and salt. I wanted a healthier version of the dish I remembered so fondly.

This led to some experimentation. Using no-salt commercial chicken broth, I made a cream sauce from scratch, and it was delicious. I tried a combination of homemade sauce and canned soup, and it was also good. Last, I substituted all canned soup for the cream sauce, and though it wasn't quite like homemade, it was still good. Quicker, too.

No doubt about it, pot pies are caloric. But with just a few changes, you can make a healthier version of this American classic. One version is published in The Healthy Cook, from Prevention magazine. Like my mother's recipe, it begins with homemade stock. This recipe contains more vegetables than chicken and is topped with made-from-scratch biscuits.

Using this recipe as a guide, I came up with my own vegetable-laden recipe. To save time I used rotisserie chicken (sorry Mom), canned soup for the sauce, and refrigerated crescent rolls for the crust. Though the dough didn't fit the round baking dish perfectly, I folded it until it sort of fit. The result was a yummy pie, similar to the ones I remember from years ago.

You don't have to relegate this dish to Sundays. Quick Chicken Potpie Makes every day of the week a Sunday. Gather the family round the table and enjoy this warm, satisfying dish together. Leftovers, if you have any, can be heated in the microwave for lunch the next day.

Ingredients

1 rotisserie chicken

Two 10 3/4-ounce cans cream of chicken soup (I used the reduced fat kind.)

1 teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon extra light olive oil

4 ounces fresh mushrooms, quartered (I used 3/4 of a box.)

1 cup frozen petite peas, defrosted

1/2 red pepper, cut into 1-inch strips

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 cup chicken stock (more if you need it)

1 carton reduced fat crescent rolls

Method

Remove skin from chicken, pull off meat, and shred. Melt butter in large skillet. Add olive oil and mushrooms, cooking until mushrooms start to brown. Take skillet off heat. Add peas, red pepper strips, and cover for 10 minutes. Put undiluted soup into a large saucepan. Stir in seasonings, chicken stock, vegetables, and shredded chicken. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook chicken mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it starts to steam. Sprinkle some flour onto a cutting board. Open rolls, lay dough on the floured surface, and pinch the seams together. Coat an oven-proof baking dish with non-stick spray. Spoon chicken mixture into baking dish, lay dough on top, and adjust it to fit the dish. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the filling bubbles. Makes 4-6 servings.

Copyright 203 by Harriet Hodgson


Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 35+ years and is the author of 31 published books. Her latest releases are "Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss" and "Help! I'm Raising My Grandkids." Please visit her website and learn more about this busy author and grandmother.