I’ve never been able to resist a well made pie. With the cooler weather well and truly settling in I’m suddenly craving chicken and leek pot pie. A personal favourite. Traditional comfort food. A crisp pastry lid blanketing an unctuously rich and creamy filling. Warm and embracing. Like a big hug. At first glance probably not entirely appropriate fast day fare, but with a little tweaking why not? After a lot of umm-ing and aah-ing I decided to give it a go, ending up with a delicious and filling pot pie for just 265 calories. Not a bad effort in my book. Leaving room for my other cooler weather indulgence. A 70 calorie mid morning skim cappuccino.
Obviously the rich and buttery flaky puff pastry lid was the first element to go. Replaced with light as air filo pastry shreds. Not a bad improvisation. Giving the pies a crisp and crunchy topping whilst eliminating a whole swathe of calories. Fortunately there didn’t need to be a compromise on the luxuriousness of the filling. The classic combination of chicken and leek remained. Sautéed in a little olive oil. My substitute for the butter and cream? A puree of gorgeous, in season produce; oven roasted pears, parsnip and garlic cloves. Drizzled with olive oil. Flavoured with a sprig or two of fresh oregano. Dairy free. Fat free. Absolutely delicious. The sweetness of the pears complemented the earthiness of the parsnips beautifully.
Shredded Filo Pastry Topped Chicken And Leek Pot Pies with Roasted Pear And Parsnip
Makes 6 one cup ramekins (265 calories per serve)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided (360 calories)
600g (about 4 or 5) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and sliced into bite size pieces (730 calories)
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced (37 calories)
2 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced into chunks, about 2 cups (180 calories)
2 small firm, ripe pears, peeled, cored and sliced into chunks, about 1 cup (92 calories)
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled and left whole (8 calories)
2 sprigs oregano (2 calories)
1/2 cup chicken stock (10 calories)
sea salt and ground white pepper
3 sheets filo pastry (171 calories)
PREHEAT oven to 180 C. Line an oven proof dish with baking paper.
PLACE the parsnips, pears, whole unpeeled garlic cloves and oregano sprigs into the oven dish.
DRIZZLE with one tablespoon olive oil and a good pinch of sea salt and white pepper. Toss well to combine then spread the ingredients over the dish in an even layer.
COVER the dish tightly with a layer of aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven until the parsnips are tender, about 35 – 40 minutes.
REMOVE the oregano sprigs and roasted garlic from the baking dish. Place the roasted parsnips and pears and their juices into the bowl of a blender or food processor.
SQUEEZE the roasted garlic from its skin and add to the blender with half a cup of chicken stock. Pulse for up to a minute until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
WHILE the parsnips and pears are roasting heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok over medium-high heat.
SEASON chicken with sea salt and white pepper and sauté until browned on all sides.
ADD leeks to the wok and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
REDUCE heat to medium low. Add the parsnip and pear puree. Mix well to combine and cook for a minute or so until the purée is heated through.
SPOON the filling evenly into six one cup oven proof ramekins.
ROLL the filo pastry sheets up tightly. Use a sharp knife to slice the pastry into shreds.
UNRAVEL the pastry shreds into a bowl and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil . Toss well to ensure the shreds are evenly coated.
DIVIDE the shredded filo pastry evenly over the tops of the filled ramekins.
PLACE the ramekins on an oven tray Bake in hot 180 C oven for 15- 20 minutes until the tops are golden and the filling bubbly.