Loaded Chicken Pot Pie with Creamy Polenta Topping

Chicken Pot Pie, PolentaChicken Pot Pie is one of my favorite dishes. The tender bites of chicken, firm vegetables, creamy gravy, and the flaky, buttery pastry crust make the perfect comfort food. The only draw back is the guilt I feel after I eat it. So I decided to make a chicken pot pie that was equally satisfying, but with more vegetables, less salt, less fat, and a creamy polenta topping that equals a healthier, delicious comfort food with less guilt.

Let’s start with the filling.

Ingredients for Chicken filling:

1 – lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 – cups broccoli florets (fresh)
1/2 – medium onion diced
3 – carrots
2 – stalks celery
6 – oz. crimini mushrooms
2 – cloves garlic
1/2 – cup frozen peas
2 – cups chicken stock (no salt added)
1/2 – cup 2% milk
2 – tbls. butter
2 – tbls. flour
Salt
Black pepper
3/4 – tsp. herbs de Provence

Directions:

First prepare the vegetables. Dice the onion, slice the celery, carrots, and mushrooms, and cut the broccoli florets into bite sized pieces.

Add one cup chicken stock and 1/2 cup milk to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. This will be used to cook the polenta.

Next heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Mince garlic and add to the oil. Cut the chicken breast into bite sized pieces, and add to the skillet. Sprinkle with a little salt and black pepper. Cook the chicken until it is no longer pink, stirring often. This will only take about 3-5 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables and a little more salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Make a little space in the skillet and add the butter and flour.

Stir and let cook about 1 minute then add the chicken stock, and milk.

Next add thefrozen peas, mix well and bring to a boil.

Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook until it starts to thicken, about 5-7 minutes. Turn off the heat when done, cover and set aside until the polenta is ready.

Time to Cook the Polenta

Now the chicken stock and milk mixture should be boiling, so it is time to start cooking the polenta. I use regular corn meal. It takes a little longer to cook, so if you want to cut the time down you can use the quick cooking corn meal.

Ingredients for Polenta:

3/4 – cup corn meal
1 – cup chicken stock
1/2 – cup 2% milk
1 – tbls. butter
1/2 – cup pecorino romano cheese
3/4 – cup fontina cheese
1/2 – tsp. salt (or to taste)

Reduce the heat on the chicken stock and milk and add one-half teaspoon of salt. Next slowly add the polenta, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Continue to stir and cook the polenta until it becomes tender. It will take about 15-20 minutes. If the polenta seems too thick, add a little more chicken stock as necessary.

Once the polenta is ready, add the butter and cheese and stir until well incorporated. The consistency should be smooth and creamy.

Assembly

Fill individual oven-safe crocks with the chicken filling. Place the crocks on a cookie sheet for safer handling.

Top off with the polenta and bake under the broiler until the polenta starts to brown on top.

Keep an eye on them because this will only take a few minutes.

Serves immediately.
Enjoy!

Makes 4 servings

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