After the butter-rich currant and oatmeal spice cookies this morning, I decided to test out another “lightened” dish that I found on a blog, “Eat Yourself Skinny,” that my friend Jacki recommended. It’s a good site and has lots of recipes that I’m planning to cook for the family. You can check out the blog and recipe, here.
This recipe uses fat-free half and half, fat-free chicken broth and reduced-fat canned biscuits (you know, the kind that “pop” out of the can and which I haven’t made in over 25 years). I’m not a big fan of fat-free half and half because it contains corn syrup; however, I believe my sister Tina has discovered a brand that is HFCS-free. Neither of the brands at my local Giant were HFCS-free. As for the canned biscuits, I’m not sure how to lower the fat content in my biscuits, but I’m hoping Kelly (the blogger) will come up with a recipe on her site.
There are a few other quirks; you mix all the liquids, flour and seasonings together and let it come to a boil, then simmer to thicken, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. I guess since there’s no fat, there’s no roux and we’re relying on flour and milk to make the gravy. I’m a little apprehensive, but willing to try. I also didn’t bother with ramekins; I used a casserole dish.
Here’s how I made it: (Note: It looks like a lot of meat and veg because I made 1 1/2 times the recipe. I had copious amounts of meat from the two chicken breasts I roasted this morning).
Preheat the oven to 425. Spray a medium casserole dish with cooking spray. Get all your ingredients ready:
Dump the liquids, flour and seasonings into a pot and whisk to blend. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat, then simmer, whisking constantly, for about 4 minutes until thickened to your desired consistency. I went a little thick since I knew the mixed vegetables would release additional water into the sauce.
Add the chicken, mixed vegetables, and chopped scallions. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside and pop open your biscuits.
Pour the chicken and vegetables into the casserole, and nestle the biscuits across the top (I used six).
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes til biscuit is golden brown and sauce is bubbling. Cover biscuits with foil if they are browning too quickly (mine did). Let rest briefly then serve!
The sauce was an excellent consistency and we definitely had enough leftovers for at least two lunches. It will be interesting to see if the sauce holds up on reheating. What didn’t quite work for me and Kurt (Ken didn’t notice or at least not enough to voice concern) was the use of poultry seasoning. I don’t usually cook with sage when I make chicken pot pie, so next time I’ll use my own seasonings for the sauce (typically just ground bay and thyme). The biscuits were a new touch, especially when they’re reduced fat. My own shortcut is to top the pie with buttered bread and bake at a lower heat; Ken much preferred the fluffy biscuit top to the crunch of toasted bread! “So much better than your toast topping, Mom!”
All in all, the recipe accomplished what I wanted to do– create a lower fat sauce that tasted like one made from a butter-based roux! Now I’ll just wait for my sister to comment with the name of that half and half that doesn’t have any corn syrup…