Lightened-Up Spinach Artichoke Chicken Pot Pie

Lightened-Up Spinach Artichoke Chicken Pot Pie

I love chicken pot pie but never make it because it’s so fattening, and I hate making pastry.  I also love spinach and artichoke dip.  Then I remembered my mom making a lightened up version of chicken pot pie a few years back from the “Cook This, Not That” guy.  Instead of doing crust all around, it’s only on the top, which is the best part anyway!

2aFor mine I did a mixture of a classic white sauce with creamy ricotta and cream cheese and one little trashy can of cream of chicken soup for good measure.  I like adding as many types of flavors as possible to stuff like this. 

Making a white sauce is the reason I dubbed this recipe “intermediate,” but white sauce is one of the best things to know how to make.  Once you know how, you can make alfredo, queso, fondue, and even gravy.  A basic white sauce is equal parts fat and flour (usually butter) browned until it’s pasty, then milk or cream added and cooked until thick.  You can use this exact same sauce for scalloped potatoes or any type of broccoli casserole or lasagna.  If you add cheese, you can make alfredo sauce, queso, or fondue.  To make gravy, you use broth or pan drippings instead of milk!  It’s a great method to memorize. 

You can poach chicken in the slow cooker or in a regular pan.  To do it in a regular pan, add the chicken to large pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then cover and bring down to a simmer for about 45 minutes.

 

Total Time:  2 hours (Hands On Time:  1 hour)

Serves: 8

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

 

Ingredients

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded

2- 10 ounce blocks of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and water squeezed out

3- 15 ounce cans artichoke heart quarters, drained

2 packets of dried French onion soup mix

1 – 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup

8 ounces light cream cheese

8 ounces part skim ricotta

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons flour

4 cups milk (whole or 2%)

1 box of frozen puff pastry thawed (2 sheets)

1 egg, lightly beaten

 

Instructions

  1. Add the shredded chicken, spinach, artichoke hearts, French onion soup mix, cream cheese, and ricotta to a large mixing bowl. Set aside and allow everything to come to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, make the white sauce by adding the butter and flour to the bottom of a medium saucepan. Use a wooden spoon to cook the 5 tablespoons of the flour and all butter together over medium low heat until it starts to brown.
  3. Use a whisk to slowly whisk in the milk to the butter and flour. Whisk constantly for about 10-15 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  4. Add hot sauce to the chicken mixture, and stir until combined. Pour the pie filling into its dish (I use one full-sized casserole dish and one half-sized dish).  If you are making this in advance, cover and refrigerate after this step.
  5. To finish, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Unfold the puff pastry. Lightly flour a surface, your hands, and a rolling pin, and roll the dough out until it’s about ½ the original thickness.  Lay the pastry over the top of the pot pie, covering all the surface.
  7. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the crust has reached a golden brown.
  9. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

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