Friday, September 17, 2010

Cooking Light with Rachael Ray: Vermont Chicken Pie

Talk about a comfort dish! This Vermont Chicken Pie just takes me back; making me feel all warm and cozy. Originally, this recipe isn't all that bad. Packed with veggies, lean chicken and warm biscuits; it is quite the well-balanced meal. Yet, there were a few simple changes I could see that would lean it to my liking. I give to you my version of Rachael Ray's Vermont Chicken Pie; a "must-try"!


VERMONT CHICKEN PIE
Serves 6


INGREDIENTS:


1  quart FAT FREE/REDUCED SODIUM chicken stock
1 1/2  pounds BONELESS/SKINLESS chicken tenders
1/2   tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2  tablespoons "I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S NOT BUTTER"
1  medium onion, chopped
2  cups "ready to eat" carrot chips
2  ribs celery, diced
6  white mushrooms, quartered
1  bay leaf, fresh or dried
1  teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper
2  tablespoons all-purpose flour
Handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 lb fresh asparagus; cut into 1/3's
1/2  package REDUCED FAT Pillsbury Grand Biscuits (4 biscuits)

 
DIRECTIONS:


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.


Reserve 2 cups of stock for vegetables. Cut tenders into 1/3's. Bring remaining stock to a boil in skillet, add chicken, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Poach chicken 6 to 8 minutes.


While chicken cooks, in a second large skillet over medium to medium high heat, add oil and "ICBINB". To melted butter, add onion, carrots, celery, and asparagus, adding veggies to the pan as you chop them. Season veggies with thyme, salt and pepper. Saute 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add flour and cook another minute. Whisk in reserved 2 cups of stock forming a sauce around veggies. Stir in cooked chicken pieces, and parsley. Transfer the mixture to a large casserole, oval or rectangular.

Open the biscuits and cut four of them into quarters; arranging in a layer across the top of the casserole. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until biscuits are golden brown, then serve.


*Bake the remaining 4 biscuits for part of a quick breakfast in the morning! Heat 'em up with a little apple butter or honey...YUM!


RESULTS:


We all LOVED this one! I was so excited for my husband to get home from class that night and have dinner. I just knew he would enjoy it as much as Kimber and I had. And he did. In fact, Rudy gave it his official stamp of approval, with a grade of A+ !


To lighten this one up, I started with the classic changes; fat free stock, "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" for the real thing (1/2 the saturated fat), and using 1/2 the called for amount of EVOO. Now, here is the big change; using 1/2 the package of biscuits and switching to the reduced-fat variety. This saved an incredible 40 grams of fat for the entire recipe OR about 7 grams of fat per serving. And that is just the savings in the biscuits! By making these changes, you are able to maintain the same flavors, textures and comforting feelings they evoke without the added fat and calories.


One thing you may notice when comparing my recipe to Rachael's original, is that I left out the mushrooms and peas, yet added asparagus. There was really no nutritional reason for that. It was simply personal preference and the rebel inside of me wanting to experiment. Either way, I am sure you will be pleased. I felt the asparagus was a nice touch; giving this classic dish a more "grown-up" feel and making for a beautiful presentation.


ENJOY!

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving): 315 calories;  8.94g fat;  28.73g carbohydrate;  32.86g protein;  4.15g fiber

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