from the (okinawan) kitchen: hipster chicken pot pies

lighter chicken pot pies with phyllo top

In our house, we tend to cook more on the lighter side. We don’t usually make heavy roasts, dense potato dishes, or large meat-based dishes. Instead, I try to use as many fruits and vegetables as possible and incorporate healthy ingredients like olive oil and whole wheat. When we had our baby a few months ago, people brought us all kinds of meals that were out of our usual range. Most of them were denser than I would typically like, but I was more than happy to accept the free meals appreciatively.

One of those dinners that was brought to us was chicken pot pies. My husband was excited about it right away, and I gotta say once I dug into it, my little pot was empty pretty quickly. Since we liked them so much, it got me thinking about how we could make them a little lighter and fresher. Every now and then since we had them I’d look for ways to tweak the dense, traditional recipe that uses pastry topping. I found the answer in phyllo dough!


The phyllo dough is the perfect answer to making a light, crisp top to keep the steamy filling inside. Plus, you can keep the vegetables and their sauce nice and smooth on the inside by using a light vegetable broth and minimal flour in the cooking process. It makes it more of an urban hipster chicken pot pie, really, rather than the ole down home hearty supper that’s usually offered up. So if you’re looking for something to do with all those carrots you received in the veg box this month, look no further. This recipe is for you!

pot pies

Hipster chicken pot pies.

Adapted from Taste Love and Nourish.


1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 large onion, diced

4 stalks celery, diced

3 large carrots, peeled and diced

1/2 tsp thyme

1/4 cup flour

2 cups vegetable broth

10 oz frozen peas

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 1/2 lb chicken breasts (fully cooked and shredded)

2 Tbsp olive oil

pinch of salt

6 sheets of phyllo dough (half a box)

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and thyme and cook until softened (about ten minutes). Add the flour and mix until it lightly coats all of the vegetables. Pour the broth into the skillet while continuing to stir. Bring to a boil and then simmer on medium low heat until the vegetable mixture has thickened (about 5-10 minutes). Remove from heat. Add the peas, salt, pepper, and chicken to the vegetable skillet. Set aside.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine 2Tbsp of olive oil with the pinch of salt. Open the phyllo dough and lay a sheet down on your work surface. Brush with the olive oil mixture. Layer another sheet on top of the first and repeat the brushing process. The sheets should not match up perfectly but rather be loosely aligned. Continue to layer the six sheets. Once complete, cut the layered sheets into quarters.

Prepare four medium sized ramekin/souffle dishes by placing on a baking sheet. Spray the insides of each with cooking spray. Ladle the filling mixture into each dish, filling them to about 3/4 full. Place one of the quarters of the phyllo dough on top of each dish pressing down lightly around the inside edges of each dish to secure the topping.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until light golden brown. Enjoy!

digging in to some chicken pot pies


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