I wish I could take full credit for this recipe but I can not. As you can imagine, being a woman who runs a healthy meal service and who writes a healthy food blog, that I found a few cook books under my Christmas tree this year. One such book was The Diet For Food Lovers by Jennifer Irvine. It’s a lovely book and while I have not prepared too many of the recipes yet it has given me many good ideas and much inspiration.
On Christmas evening I was flipping through my new gift, just as excited as my 4 year old had been earlier in the day with her new toys, when my husband peered over my shoulder just as I was flipping the page to a chicken pie recipe. “Make that!” he emphatically stated.
I guess cook books are like lingerie. Technically a gift for the wife……. but who really benefits the most???
Anyways…I’m straying from the subject at hand.
What caught my attention about this recipe was the topping. Instead of topping the pie with starchy potatoes it is topped with a white bean mash with roasted garlic and rosemary. YUM. Hook. Line. Sinker.
So, I made the pie and it is one of my new favorite, ultra healthy recipes. I have changed the recipe a bit, for the better I believe but you can be the judge…..
It is a fast and easy recipe and could easily become a weeknight staple in your kitchen as it has in mine.
- ½ bulb of garlic, unpeeled
- 1 small glug of olive or grapeseed oil
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 large leek, pale and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- 4 free-range, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 240 g (about 10 oz.) baby spinach leaves, washed and spun dry
- 100 ml (1/2 cup) cream
- 100 ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon wholegrain mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
- 2 x 400g (14 oz) cans of cannellini beans, drained
- 60 g (2 oz.) feta cheese, crumbled
- salt and pepper
- 200 g (1½ cups) frozen peas, defrosted
- Preheat oven to 200C/400F
- Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over the garlic cloves and roast them in the oven until soft, about 20 minutes
- In a sauté pan heat the oil until hot. Sauté the onions and leek in the pan until soft. Add the chicken pieces and toss to sear for a couple of minutes. Add the minced garlic and spinach and toss to coat until the spinach is wilted.
- Add the cream, chicken stock, bay leaf and both mustards and bring to a simmer and allow to gently simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and simmer another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- While the chicken and sauce are cooking remove the garlic pulp from the skins and mash up in a small bowl. Add the finely chopped rosemary and mash up some more to make a paste. Pour the cannellini beans into a bowl and, using a potato masher, mash up the beans and the garlic-rosemary paste until fairly smooth. Stir in the crumbled feta cheese and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Stir the peas into the chicken and spinach mixture and pour it all into a pyrex dish or pie dish. Top with the cannellini bean mixture and smooth out to cover the whole dish. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn on the broiler/grill and continue to cook another 15 minutes or so until the topping is golden and the pie is bubbling.