Healthy Chicken pie

Angela Nilsen reinvents a classic recipe to make chicken pie a healthy choice for you

  • For the filling
  • 450ml chicken stock, from a cube (I use Kallo, organic)
  • 100ml white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tarragon sprig, plus 1 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves
  • 225g carrots, cut into batons
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, 500g/1lb 2oz total weight
  • 225g leeks, sliced
  • 2 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche (thick cream)
  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 heaped tbsp chopped flat-leaf or curly parsley

    For the topping
  • 70g filo pastry (I used three 39 x 30cm sheets)
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil

Pour the stock and wine into a large, wide frying pan. Add the garlic, thyme, tarragon sprig and carrots; bring to the boil in low flame for 3 mins.

Place the chicken in the stock, add some pepper on it and simmer for 5 mins. Open the lid and spread the leek slices over the chicken. Then gently simmer for 10 more mins, so the leeks can steam while the chicken cooks.

Remove from the heat and let the chicken in the stock for about 15 mins, so it keeps moist while cooling slightly. Later, tilt the chicken and veg into a 1.5 litre pie dish and discard the herb sprigs.

Strain the stock into a jug – Pour the stock back into the sauté pan, and then slowly pour in the corn flour mix. Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped tarragon, crème fraîche, mustard, and parsley. Season with pepper.

Cut the chicken into chunky shreds. Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture, and then stir everything together.

Cut each sheet of filo into 4 squares or rectangles. Layer them on top of the filling, brushing each sheet with some of the oil as you go.

Lightly crumple the filo and tuck the edges into the sides of the dish. Grind over a little pepper, place the dish on a baking sheet, then bake for 20-25 mins until the pastry is golden and the sauce is bubbling. Serve immediately.