Although I’ve been a Cooks Illustrated subscriber for a decade I’ve only seen American’s Test Kitchen once. They made this Chicken Pot Pie With Savory Crumble Topping and I cooked it up the same night. In true Test Kitchen/ Cook’s Illustrated fashion, it was the best pot pie I’d ever had. The peppery Parmesan crumble topping and creamy, flavorful stew became a favorite make-ahead dish.
The original nutrition stats aren’t terrible but I knew there was a way to lighten it up. This makeover has all the flavor of the original but half the calories and a quarter of the fat. Most of the calories come from the topping so I swapped the pastry crust for my favorite skinny biscuit recipe but kept the peppery Parmesan flavoring. I’ve also found that, with a little care, I can make a roux with as little as 1 tbs oil to a quarter cup flour. Finally, I bumped up the vegetable to chicken ratio ever so slightly and swapped skim milk for whole to get the whole thing under 250 calories a hearty serving.
Make this creamy casserole over the weekend and then heat it up on a weeknight for a quick and easy, warm and comforting, light but hearty meal.
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- olive oil spray (I use my misto)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 1/2 c celery, diced
- 24 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 c skim milk
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- 3 tbs minced fresh parsley leaves
- 3/4 c frozen baby peas
- 1 c Heart Smart Bisquick
- 1 oz shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/3 c skim milk
Preheat oven to 400°.
Cook the chicken
Add the chicken breast and broth to a Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 8-12 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a large bowl.
Strain broth into another container and reserve.
Prepare the topping
While the chicken is cooking, combine biscuit mix, Parmesan cheese, black pepper and cayenne in a large bowl. Stir in milk and mix until just combined.
Drop the batter into irregularly shaped pieces ranging from 1/2 to ¾ inch each onto parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
Bake until just beginning to brown, 8-10 minutes. Set aside.
Prepare the filling
Spray the now-empty Dutch oven with oil and return to medium heat.
Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and onions are translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, shred the chicken into small bite-size pieces. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the bowl with the chicken.
Spray the pot with additional oil. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they've released their juices, about 5 minutes.
Stir in soy sauce and tomato paste.
Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to the bowl with the chicken and vegetables.
Reduce heat to medium and heat 2 tbs oil in the pot. Stir in flour and mix well to combine. Cook about 1 minute.
Slowly whisk in reserved chicken broth and milk, scraping browned bits from the bottom of the pot. If sauce is lumpy because of the low oil to flour ratio, puree with an immersion blender until smooth.
Simmer until sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and 2 tablespoons parsley.
Add the chicken and vegetables along with frozen peas to the sauce. Pour the mixture into a 13x9 baking dish or casserole dish. Scatter the topping evenly over filling and spray lightly with oil.
Bake until the filling is bubbling and topping is well browned, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon parsley and serve.
Alternatively, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to cook, let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Total Fat 6.5g
Saturated Fat 4.1g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Total Carbohydrates 27.2g
Dietary Fiber 2.7g
Weight Watchers Points: 5
Mmm…this looks fantastic! Is it bad that I want to pop those scrumptious little biscuits into my mouth, whole? …right now?
Maggie J says
Mmmm… I think the biscuits are my favorite part 🙂
Dani @ DaniCaliforniaCooks says
I’ve never tried a chicken pot pie! But the comfort food aspect of this looks great.