“ Manufacturer: Weight Watchers / Food Type: Pies „
When dieting, as I invariably am, it's the comfort food I miss. Cutting the crisps and chocolate from my diet doesn't concern me too much, but when I am sitting watching the family tuck into a hearty pie meal I do feel a twinge of jealousy. I tend to make my own pies, but have found it extremely difficult to make a low fat version - slightly lower fat is absolutely no problem, but an actual low fat pie is beyond my cooking skills if I still want it to taste nice.
Weight Watchers have come up with a treat for us pie lovers with their new Chicken & Mushroom Potato Pie, they are sold individually and I believe there is also a Minced Beef version available although I haven't seen this one as yet. This is basically a pie, only made without the fattening pastry and instead topped with crushed potatoes. The pie is oven cooked in roughly 25 minutes and, although chilled when bought, can be frozen on the day of purchase - you can cook the pie from frozen too, which I'm always pleased to see as a surprising number of shop bought pies have to be defrosted before cooking.
It looks delicious once cooked; the potato on the top has browned beautifully and is visibly crispy, if you don't time your pie accuratey you may find some of the potatoes do begin to burn. This, however, is not a problem as they are equally delicious and in fact the blackened parts are even more flavoursome than the rest of the potatoes.
In my opinion the filling inside this pie is excellent, full of chunky pieces of chicken with an extremely full flavour. The potato 'crust' extends roughly halfway down the pie so there isn't as much meat inside as you'd find in a non-low fat pie, yet the chicken and mushrooms are so well cooked (and taste so delicious) that you hardly notice this. The potato is an excellent addition to the pie anyway so you certainly won't feel cheated by having less filling than usual.
The gravy is absolutely fantastic; it's rich and thick with a delicious sage flavour which compliments the chicken beautifully. It's not a sticky gravy whatsoever and moulds itself around the solid fillings within the pie, there is just enough gravy in relation to the chicken although personally I'd like the inside of the pie to be a little more 'wet' so that any excess gravy could be used to moisten the potato a little.
There is definitely more chicken than mushrooms in this pie, although there are enough mushrooms in there that if you're not a fungi fan then they may put you off a little. They are in large pieces so easy enough to pick out, I personally thought the soft texture of the mushrooms was wonderful combined with the very tender chicken and I cannot think of a more delightful pairing for a pie such as this.
I'm not so enamoured with the pastry case which, to me, is far too similar to quiche pastry. I find it rather too crisp and would prefer a softer shortcrust pastry; this would, however, make this into a higher fat pie than it is so I can certainly see why Weight Watchers have used this pastry. Overall I cannot fault this pie at all; it has a delicious flavour, is very reminiscent of eating a stodgy pie (if not exactly the same eating experience) and more importantly is a far healthier alternative for those of us who are watching our weight or simply attempting to cut back on the fat we are consuming.
Each Chicken & Mushroom Potato Pie contains 5 1/2 Weight Watchers points; to put this into context for those of you who are not familiar with the Weight Watchers plan, I am 'allowed' 20 points per day at the moment so fitting this delicious pie into my daily allowance is not a problem. As it already contains meat and potatoes the only extras I need to cook are whatever zero point vegetables I have decided to have that day, plus I need to count an extra point usually to cover the gravy I make up to pour over the vegetables. If you are not following the Weight Watchers plan, each pie contains 302 calories and 9.6g of fat. Rather high figures I agree, but if you compare this to a Birds Eye Chicken Pie you will see that the fat content has been roughly halved.
I have only seen these pies available in Tesco, when I originally bought them they were on special offer at £1 as they had only recently been launched. However, the usual price is £2 and I feel that is a little high for an individual pie even by Weight Watchers standards. Currently you can buy two Weight Watchers pies for £3, this is more reasonable but still rather expensive I feel and the introductory price of £1 is much more in line with the price of other individually wrapped pies.
I tried this one for dinner and it was lovely i had it with butternut squash which is zero points and had a lovely filling dinner the only thing i would say as with most of ww products is the price £2.00 from tesco for one something different though !!