Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Light and Creamy Healthy Chicken Pot Pies - I promise that there is No Cream in them!

I know that we can use yogurt to replace coconut milk to cook lighter kind of curries but can we use yogurt to replace cream to bake a creamy chicken pie?

Yes you can!

Prior baking these yogurt chicken pot pies, I wasn't expecting them to be as milky and creamy as those that I have cooked with cream at here. For the fact that I wasn't expecting a lot from these healthful pies, I was totally impressed with their overall creamy taste and texture.

Healthful? I reckon. I will tell you why...

Light creamy healthy yogurt chicken pot pie
Light and Creamy Healthy Chicken Pot Pies

(1) Healthful because the pies are made with lots of vegetables.
The vegetables that I used.
I have to say that I was totally misled by the packaging of this chicken stock.
I thought that it is a chicken stock but it is actually a vegetable stock made with chicken style!!!
Despite the misunderstanding, I'm surprised that this stock is actually pretty good!

(2) Healthful because the pie pastry is made of minimal amount of butter.
I made a mistake initially by making my first batch of pastry with a whole egg.
Then, I made another one with an egg yolk and saw interesting comparisons with both pastries. 

(3) Healthful because I have cooked the filling with minimal amount of oil and used the trans fat free rice bran oil.

While the potatoes and carrot were cooking in the stock, I have used another pot to cook these...
Combine both onion and potatoes mixture and cook until slightly thickened.

(3) Healthful because I have used Greek yogurt with 10% fat instead of regular cream with 35% fat or even fat reduced cream with 18% fat.

(4) Healthful because I have used roast chicken breast with no skins.

Remove from heat and add these ingredients.
Brush the pastry with milk and bake until the pastry is golden brown.
Ready to feast?

Remember that said that I made a mistake initially? I made a batch of pastry with a whole egg and also the "correct" batch with an egg yolk. Since I have some leftover pastry, I have baked them in their own and saw these interesting differences.

This flaky and crispy pastry is the one that I have made with a whole egg.
For rolling and shaping, this pastry is so much easier to handle.
In contrast, this crumbly pastry is the one that I have made with en egg yolk.
Although we prefer the texture of this pastry than the other one, I have to say that the other one is not too bad too. From its look, it is obvious that it is drier and tougher than the other pastry but h
andling it is actually not difficult.
I hope that you can see that the filling is actually very nicely balanced.
It is perfectly healthy, light and creamy!

Love this recipe that I have mostly adapted from Food Network!

Makes Six 9 cm round ramekins about 300ml each or One 1.8L baking dish

For the pastry:
150g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine salt
60g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk or whole egg*
2 tbsp milk

* If you prefer the crumbly kind of pastry, use just egg yolk to make the pastry. If you prefer the flaky and slightly crispy-type of pastry, use a whole egg instead of just an egg yolk.

For the pie filling:
500ml (2 cup) vegetable or chicken stock
2 medium potatoes (I have used Désirée potatoes), peeled and diced
1 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 large onion, finely diced
2 tsp fresh thyme, stalk removed
2 tbsp vegetable oil, 
3 tbsp (30g) all-purpose flour
3 stalks celery, diced (you can replace these with frozen peas or add both if you like)
3 cups shredded roast chicken, skin removed
200ml plain Greek yogurt, preferably with 10% fat
(you can use fat free kind but the filling will be less creamy)
salt and freshly ground pepper to season
milk to brush the pastry before baking

For the pastry:
Using a food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder and salt until combined. Add butter, one piece at a time, pulsing until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Add egg or egg yolk and milk while pulsing until the dough comes together. 

If food processor is unavailable, you can make this pastry by hand but with minimal handling. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add butter and use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until mixture looks like coarse meal. Mix in egg or egg yolk and milk until the dough comes together. 

Gather the dough into a ball. Flatten into a disk, wrap in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hr.

For the pie filing:
Bring the stock to boil in a medium cooking pot. Add carrots and potatoes and simmer over medium heat for 15 mins or until slightly soften. Cover and keep mixture warm.

Meanwhile, heat oil in another medium pot over medium high heat. Add onion and thyme and cook until lightly browned and soft, about 8 mins. Sprinkle in the flour. Stir and cook until lightly toasted, about 3 mins. Add about 1-2 ladleful of warm stock into the flour mixture and mix until the flour is well blended into the liquid stock. Combine both mixture into only one pot. Stir in the celery and simmer until thickened, about 15 mins.

Remove from heat and stir in the chicken and yogurt. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the filling to the ramekins or a medium baking dish.

Preheat the oven at 200°C or 180°C fan forced.

Roll out the dough on a non-stick (or lightly floured) surface until about 1 cm thick. Cut the pastry into sizes that fit about same of the ramekins or dish.  Brush milk over the dough. Place the dish or ramekins on a baking tray and bake for 20 mins or until the pastry turns golden brown.

Happy Baking
Please support me and like me at Facebook...


  1. hi, I prefer crust that will not mess up the place when I eat it. I like your recipes as there is always an alternative when mixer is not available. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. ah, great post... much to learn about the creaminess of yogurt and comparison between a whole egg and egg yolk pastry... tks for this healthy pot pie recipe Zoe!

  3. No cream chicken pies, sounds healthy and yummy at the same time.. I see your last picture, it looks so creamy, impossible you say no cream, haha.. The pies sure taste delicious.. Last week, I bought one chicken pie for RM5 !!! Better make my own next time..

  4. so hungry to see your post early in the morning.... I haven't had my breakfast!
    argh! craving for chicken pie now....

  5. The shape of the pie crust is so cute on top!

  6. Zoe, I love your healthful pot pies!! Whoever said that eating pies will be sinful or fattening? Now I agree with you after seeing how you made them. Definitely will bookmark these to try when I want to make pies :)

  7. I love pot pies and this looks amazing! Love that the crust is also home made... delicious...

  8. I love healthy recipe and this is definitely on my to do list.
    Thanks for sharing Zoe :)

  9. Zoe, these cocotte are so chic!!!!

  10. These pies must be very delicious! I love such home made stuff :)

  11. The comparison between the yolk only and whole egg pastry is very enlightening.

  12. Delicious looking pies, Zoe! I love pies, and I could eat a few of yours without feeling guilty!

  13. Love pot pies! And yours looks so terrific. Really good idea to substitute yogurt for cream -- I'll be try that! Thanks so much.

  14. Zoe I love chiken pot pie and these look stunning!! I have to print these, thanks by sharing!

  15. What a gorgeous recipe zoe! I'm a huge fan of chicken pot pies and my entire family enjoys them! Regular ones you buy do come with A LOT of pastry and that's quite fattening! I totally would be happy to make these with just the pastry on top! Your recipe looks much healthier minus the cream and so much dough!

  16. Delicious looking pies, Zoe! I love pies

  17. I love pot pies. It's comfort food to me especially on rainy days. Yours look heavenly, Zoe. ^.^

  18. I love chicken pot pies, would prefer the crispy and flaky pastry!