Saturday, 28 July 2012

Who ate all the pies?

It was me, I ate them. Only that I haven't been eating many pies recently. Basically, pies of any kind have been off the menu since I started Slimming World because pastry is horrifically high in syns. At approximately 5 syns per 25g, it's doable but I prefer not to spend that amount of syns of a lump of pastry. Many people would, and I'm not saying anything about that, but for me it's too high a spend.

Someone in my house has been missing pastry though, and that's Richy. He loves a good pie and even suggested he might ask for a pie for his birthday tea in October.... Fact! With this in mind I have been on the hunt for a recipe I could adapt, and once again your pal and mine Jamie Oliver has come to the rescue. When doesn't he?

My traditional family chicken and mushroom pie is based on a tarragon flavoured white sauce topped with puff pastry. The chicken is cooked in onions and butter and the whole lot is transformed into a deliciously synful combination of heart attack inducing goodness. Needless to say, we have never eaten this regularly but when we have it had been enjoyed by all. The recipe I used today was from Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals. Granted his was a lighter recipe than mine anyway, but I've skinnied it up a little further to make it Slimming World friendly. I've brought it in at 6 syns for the whole recipe serving 4 adults, so 1.5 syns per portion. I made a few changes based on my food plan, and a few based on what I had in.

Here's what I used:

400g chicken breasts, sliced into 2" strips
1 leek, cleaned and finely chopped
150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced chunkily
20g plain flour (1 heaped tbsp)
1 heaped tbsp low fat creme fraiche
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 chicken stock cube, in 300ml boiling water

750g Maris piper potatoes, boiled and mashed with 100g light cream cheese (use some of your A choice for this)

This is what I did:

Spray a large pan with frylight and add the chicken. Cook for a few minutes then add the leek and mushrooms. Add the flour and stir well.

Mix in the mustard powder, thyme, nutmeg and creme fraiche and stir together. Add in the chicken stock and simmer for a few minutes.

Using a slotted spoon remove the chicken and mushrooms from the pan. Increase the heat and bubble until you have a rich, thick sauce. Taste and season as required. Add back your chicken and mushrooms, mix well and transfer to a pie dish.

Top with mash, spray the top with frylight and cook at 200 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden and piping hot. Serve up with veg of your choice - I opted for carrot mash and broccoli.

Ok fair play - there's no pastry. Does it count as a pie? I'd say so. Look at Cottage, Shepherd's and Fish pies. Certainly the Jamie O version uses puff pastry, but to be honest this version was lower syn and loved by husband and kids alike. It was rich, comforting, tasty and delicious. Exactly what I needed at the end of this week. It didn't feel like a diet meal either. This is the kind of dish that nobody would ever know was SW friendly. I would say I would use tarragon instead of thyme in future, but that's personal taste.

The final verdict from me and Richy was to definitely make again. Aside from anything else, it perfectly suited this wintery, wet Summer's day. And no, that wasn't a typo.


  1. is that a Denby plate?? lol

    1. Yes :) my day to day is Denby Boston.

  2. Yummy, this of my fav's, thanks for sharing...