comforting creamy chicken pie

Updated: Nov 14, 2020



I have spent quite a few years perfecting this recipe, which was made up, but fairly traditional in that the flavours are those that everyone knows go together! I didn't have mushrooms last time I made this, so you won't see that in the photo of the filling below - but it was brilliant without as well, so the recipe is fairly adaptable! In fact, It would be really easy to make this vegetarian with mixed mushrooms (I am obsessed with oyster mushrooms and they’d be amazing in this), porcini/vege stock to substitute the chicken, stock and lardons.


serves 6-8 (makes 1 large lasagne dish pie or two smaller pies, ie two 23 cm square or round tins)


Ingredients:

70g butter (I know!)

2 leeks, sliced

3 sticks of celery, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

160g smoked lardons/pancetta/speck, cubed

600g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in to bite-sized chunks

1 Tbsp olive/vege oil (for browning - I know olive oil isn't great for high heat but I use it anyway in this instance)

250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

a dash of dry white wine (I use Sauvignon Blanc because that's the only one I ever have around...)

2 heaped tsp Dijon mustard

a handful of fresh thyme, leaves removed and roughly chopped or 1 level tsp dried thyme

3 level Tbsp plain flour

500mL chicken stock (but have an extra 250mL handy in case you need to thin out the sauce)

150g crème fraîche

2 bay leaves

4 x 320gm pre-rolled puff pastry sheets (keep refrigerated until just before you use it once the filling is made)

flour

1 egg, for brushing


Method:

1. Melt butter in a large sauté pan or saucepan over a low-medium heat. Add leeks, celery, garlic and lardons and cook gently until soft.


2. Meanwhile, in a separate frying pan, heat the olive oil to fairly hot and brown the chicken, then set aside, adding to the main pan once the veges have softened - and make sure you pour the juices in with it!


3. Turn up the heat and add mushrooms at this stage if you're using them and cook for a few minutes.


4. Add the Dijon mustard and stir in, then a wee slug of wine. Cook off the wine for a few minutes.


5. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the meat and veges and mix it through fairly quickly, taking care not to break up the leeks too much. Once you see the flour cooking (after a minute or so) and frothing around everything else, it's time to add the stock.


6. Add half the stock at first and stir around thoroughly, to avoid lumps forming from the flour. As the sauce thickens, add the rest of the stock and the thyme, bring to the boil and simmer for about 8 minutes or until lovely and thick.


7. Then, stir in the crème fraîche and bay leaves and simmer for another 5 or so minutes, until the pie filling is smooth, thick and glistening! If it becomes too thick for your liking, add a wee bit more stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and cool a bit.


8. Preheat the oven to 200°C and make sure the oven tray is in the lower half of the oven, but not at the bottom.


9. Grease 2 pans or 1 lar