Does this recipe work for me? I’m not sure…

With Mom living here with us now, I comb the internet and my recipe books for low salt alternatives to change up our lunch and dinner menus a bit. I found a low-salt chicken pot pie recipe and tried it. It was the first time I’ve ever made one.

It wasn’t an abject failure, but it wasn’t perfect, either. I think the recipe is good and I LOVED the crust. But it was too liquidy and I found out I don’t really like pearl onions. Also, since I don’t like mushrooms, I didn’t put them in, instead increasing the other veggies. It also made a big batch. So I thought I’d post the recipe here and ask you for help, because I’d like to make it again. But I don’t do well when I experiment, so I need to know if I can get away with what I want to do. The recipe is below. My questions are:

1. Can I reduce the chicken stock by 1/3 to 1/2? Or should I increase the flour?
2. Can I substitute regular onions for the pearl onions?
3. What other veggies can I use as a mushroom substitute? Potatoes? Squash?
4. Can I mess with the seasoning? The flavor was distinctly mid-eastern. Maybe that was the Turmeric (which also colored my counter top and freaked me out until the cleanser got it off.)

Low-Salt Chicken Pot Pie (from heart.org)

Ingredients:
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil
• 6 clove crushed garlic
• 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme OR
• 1 tsp. dried thyme
• 1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh oregano OR
• 1 tsp. dried oregano
• 1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh tarragon OR
• 1 tsp. dried tarragon
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 tsp. turmeric
• 2 tsp. salt-free, all-purpose seasoning
• 1 tsp. ground black pepper
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
• 1 cup carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
• 1 cup celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
• 1 cup crimini or button mushrooms, quartered
• 4 Tbsp. flour
• 1/4 cup Pernod, (optional) (I didn’t use this.)
• 3 cup lower-sodium chicken stock
• 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, all visible fat discarded, cut into 2-inch pieces
• 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
• 1/2 cup chopped parsley

Crust
• 1 1/3 cup flour
• 1/2 tsp. salt, (optional)
• 1/2 cup fat-free margarine spread (I used unsalted butter.)
• 3 Tbsp. ice water

1. Cut up the chicken. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until hot. Stir in the garlic, thyme, oregano, tarragon, bay leaf, turmeric, salt-free all-purpose seasoning, pepper, salt and sauté for one minute. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms and sauté for two minutes. Stir in the flour and coat the vegetables well. Add the Pernod, if using, and chicken stock and stir to blend well. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Stir in the chicken and simmer for five minutes. Stir in the peas and parsley. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a 3-quart oval casserole. Cover loosely with foil and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside. To make the crust, place the flour (and salt, if using) in a medium-sized bowl and add the margarine spread, cut into one-inch pieces. Cut the margarine spread into the flour with a fork or pastry cutter (this can all be done in a food processor) until crumbly. Avoid over-working the dough. Add the ice water and mix (pulse in a food processor) until the dough just comes together. Roll the dough between two pieces of film wrap until it matches the size of the casserole. (Hold the dish above the dough to check for correct size.) Peel off the top layer of wrap and bring the casserole next to the dough. Lift the dough by the bottom wrap and use it to help invert the crust onto the casserole. Trim the outside edges of the crust and gently press the dough so that it fits perfectly around the inside perimeter of the casserole dough. Cut eight, evenly spaced 1-inch vents in the dough as demarcations of portions and to release steam while baking. Place the casserole on the foil-lined baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 45 minutes. Let the casserole rest for 10 minutes before serving.

So what do you think? Should I find another recipe? Do you have a chicken pot pie recipe I could adapt to be lower salt? Cooking–so not my strong suit. But we eat at home most of the time now, so I’d better figure this out. Lol.

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13 responses to “Does this recipe work for me? I’m not sure…

  1. I’d think maybe some thickening like flour or corn starch. You could also look online for recipe’s that are similar and see if you could come up with tweaking yours with some of the ingredients.

  2. My recommendations:
    1) reduce the chicken stock
    2) use regular onions
    3) for other veggies maybe try a root vegetable like a rutabaga or parsnip? Squash could also be good. I had a chicken pot pie recipe that also called for frozen corn which was pretty good.
    4) the seasonings – I would just use less of the turmeric or remove it all together.

    Let me know what you end up doing! It looks good and I wouldn’t mind trying it!

  3. Valerie J. Patterson

    Wow, wish I could help you with this one. Don’t the mushrooms act like a sponge in absorbing some of the liquid? If that is the case, then you need to replace them with a veggie that would be absorbent as well. I think–just my opinion–that reducing the stock AND using a thickening agent should take care of the soupiness of the dish, giving you the desired gravy-like texture you normally look for in a potpie. Also, I have found that the organic stocks contain less sodium, so if you’re not using one, give it a try.

    My maiden name is Swanson, and I used to get called “Pot Pie” and “TV Dinner” so you’d think I could fix this for you! lol 😛

    • I hadn’t thought about the mushrooms absorbing so much fluid, but you must be right. I’m using an organic low-sodium stock, so I’m good there. And that’s hilarious about those nicknames. I grew up on pot pies, but the store bought ones. I like them, so I need to find a way to make this work. Lol.

  4. Can’t offer much in the way of advice, Laurie. My expertise in the kitchen is virtually zilch. Cooking scares the pants off me. 😦

  5. I make a lot of pies for my other half as he won’t eat shop bought ones and as he has an aversion to a lot of spices and herbs I never use turmeric, although it is supposed to be very good for you. Nor do I ever use garlic as my he hates it and finds tarragon overpowering, so I use a lot of parsley. A pinch of cumin and nutmeg perhaps. With these sorts of recipes you can add or leave out whatever you want. I would suggest reducing the stock in the first instance or increase thickening agent, the former being the better option. Any sort of onion would work, if large they can be cut up, even spring onions, just snip the green part in and chop white part, depending on size. Mushrooms will only add to the liquid volume as they release a lot of water when cooked. Potato, butternut squash, sweet potato, parsnips would be good additions, or some sort of pulse like a butter bean and even peas or sliced french beans.

    I’m inclined on a top crust only pie to cook the pastry separate, cutting to fit the serving dish before baking it on a baking tray then assembling to serve. he’s not noticed the different yet. That way, the pastry keeps crisp and you can adjust the thickness before serving, adding a little milk if too thick and/or draining some and serving separately.

    Anyway, hope helpful and happy cooking and eating. 🙂

  6. Kit, you are a godsend! Am printing all your wonderful ideas and attaching them to the recipe! Thanks!

  7. I love the blogs ladies, what a range of topics plus excellent cooking tips. Well done. My mouth is watering.

  8. when I make mine, I don’t do chicken stock. I use cream of chicken soup, undiluted. It’s thicker. Yours looks good! Jillian

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