It's Pie Time

For the past week I have been harbouring my first cold of the autumn and I have been feeling very sorry for myself. Combined with a tickly cough, stuffy sinus’ (although very luckily not a blocked nose…I hate those), a fuzzy and achy head, general bodily achiness, and a very sore ear – a problem that seems to keep reoccurring following a lovely incident a few months ago whereby my eardrum decided to burst….lovely.
There is nothing worse than being in the stage of ‘not well enough to function as a human being, but not so ill as to need time off work’. It truly sucks.
I’m really trying to curb my bad eating habits and being in the midst of getting into the swing of it yet in the clutches of a cold has left me in despair. I literally only want to eat truckloads of fatty foods and when you have a cold the last thing you want to do is exercise. The 80/20 rule does not exist in cold world.
In general one of my favourite food groups is pie, so when I have a cold it is pretty much all I want to eat. However pie is not the healthiest of options – especially when you want to eat 100% of the time. For the average Beef and Ale pie (one of my faves………. I’m such a man!) with short crust pastry 1 serving can often be over 1000 calories! It’s usually the pastry that does it.
My determination to get pie and still be good drove me to desperation…..and the kitchen. A healthy(er) pie was on the menu, so a healthy(er) pie is what I got!
For a pie for 2 here's what you'll need:

2 Chicken Breasts
1 Stock Cube
500ml Hot Water
1 Red onion
1 Garlic Clove
3 Carrots
1 Bay leaf
2ish tsp Rosemary
2ish tsp Thyme
Good pinch of Pepper
Good Pinch of Salt
Chicken Gravy Granules
1tbsp Lemon juice
3 Sheet of Filo Pastry
The first thing you need to do is make up the filling for the pie, I used my slow cooker for this (best invention ever), but if you don't have a slow cooker the you can use a big old pot on the stove on a low heat.
It is pretty much a whack it in sort of thing so finely chop your onions, crush in your garlic, chop up your chicken, and plonk it all in the pot/slow cooker. Add half of your rosemary, thyme, pepper and salt, and pop your bay leaf in now too.

Mix your stock cube together with your 500ml of hot water and pour over everything in the pot. Whack this onto a low heat and leave it for 3 hours. Of course, all of these herbs are totally optional, if you have ones you prefer do a bit of swapping.
Once your 3 hours has passed give your filling a mix and add your carrots (you can chop these how you please  slices are easier to cook but do it however you feel!). Splash in your lemon juice, add the rest of your herbs and some gravy granules depending on how many you need to slightly thicken the mix. Remove the bay leaf, turn it up to high and leave for about an hour.
By now your chicken should barely be holding it together, your carrots should be soft and your kitchen will smell amazing, take the filling out of the pot and pop it into your pie dish, allow it to cool slightly....the pastry will thank you!

Now for the pastry....I cheated. Puff and shortcrust I can do from scratch but my kitchen is simply too small to even attempt filo! Anyway, I used 3 sheets. Once your filling is a little cooler lay your pastry over it 1 sheet at a time.

Now bake your pie at 200 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes oven depending.

And there it is, you healthy(er) pie. We had ours with lemon chilli mash (3 potatoes, 1 dried chilli, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and small knob of butter), and green beans. Mash can be healthy, it's just the stuff that goes into it that makes it a bit heavy in the calorie stakes.
And here are the stats for the pie (I love this website!):


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