Can you believe how many sweets I’ve written about in the last few weeks? I weighed myself this morning and it ain’t pretty—up 4 pounds since Thanksgiving. Oof. So here’s something on the savory side, for when you’ve got extra piecrust lying around but don’t want to, y’know, pile on even more weight. The curry, apple, and sweet potato take this outside the realm of everyday Chicken Pot Pie (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Other than the piecrust itself, this is quite a healthy recipe—just two tablespoons of olive oil for the whole thing. So eat up, and if you feel like having a wee treat afterwards… Well, I won’t tell.
This works well as a Nap-Friendly Recipe—just do everything through Step 3 in the morning, then cover and refrigerate. Fiddle with the crust during the afternoon nap, or just before baking.
And here’s a trick if you’ve got a picky eater: After you’ve cooked the chicken and vegetables but before you add the curry, swipe some of the filling and put it in its own ramekin. Cover with a round of dough and bake for a little less time than the big dish. Harry was thrilled to have his own little pie, without that yucky yellow stuff—who knows, maybe your kid’ll like it too!
Curried Chicken & Sweet Potato Pot Pie
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (If you’ve got leftover cooked chicken, skip Step 1)
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, chopped small
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
Salt & pepper
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons flour, plus more for rolling
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 prepared piecrust—if you’re using homemade, whole wheat is especially nice here
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 13 x 9 baking dish (and a ramekin, if you’re serving a picky eater) and set aside.
- Put the chicken and the broth into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until just cooked, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When it shimmers add the shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the celery, carrot, sweet potato, and salt & pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the apple and cook another minute.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetable mixture and cook, stirring, until no white patches of flour are visible, another minute or two. Drain the chicken broth from the saucepan into the skillet and simmer until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and remove from heat. If you’re serving a picky eater, remove some of this mixture to the ramekin (for Harry, I plucked out some chicken and some apple, along with enough broth to cover). Stir the curry powder into the skillet and transfer everything to the baking dish.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough—if you’re using a ramekin, first cut off a knob of dough to roll separately for that. Drape it over the baking dish and cut some slits to let steam escape.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until crust is browned and juices are bubbling. The ramekin will be ready sooner, more like 20 to 25 minutes.
MAKE BABY FOOD: The filling is terrific for early eaters—either puree with a bit of the sauce or serve as finger food with some of the crust. Don’t be afraid to serve your baby spices!