I went out for dinner in Bristol last night and had the most wonderful catch up with some girlfriends. We talked, we laughed and we had excellent food and wine…oh, a spot of celeb spotting with Craig Revell-Horwood on the next table! All in all, it was good for the soul.
I’m having a quiet one at home today, pottering about and cooking up some seasonal treats in the kitchen.
This current grey and chilly weather calls for one of my all-time favourite foods…PIE!
I love a good pie, sweet or savoury. They are warm and comforting and you can come up with so many different fillings that you could have a different pie every night of the week, although your jeans may feel a bit tighter by the end of it!
This pie recipe is a slight cheat because the filling isn’t in a pastry case but instead has a simple puff pastry topping. I love puff pastry though and find this makes a lovely pie!
As usual, I used the vegetables I had in the cupboard that needed using up, but you can of course add the ones you prefer or leave out any you don’t like.
This made enough for four hefty servings (we felt greedy!) or six more modest portions.
I hope the method part of this recipe doesn’t look too overwhelming but I broke it down into very simple steps.
A glug of olive oil
3 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
1 onion, diced
2 leeks, sliced
5-6 carrots, peeled and chopped
5-6 mushrooms, quartered
A dash of white wine or vermouth
150g of lardons (or chop 4 rashers of bacon if you cannot find lardons in your local supermarket)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of plain flour
Chicken stock (I used 2 stock cubes in about 400ml of boiling water)
A small tub of crème fraîche
2 teaspoons of wholegrain mustard
One packet of puff pastry
Some milk (to brush over the pastry)
How to make it
- In a large pan, heat the oil on a medium heat and add the chicken to brown – I did this in 2 batches
- When golden brown, remove the chicken pieces and set to one side
- In the pan, lightly fry the onion, leeks and carrots for a few minutes until they have softened
- Add the mushrooms and cook for another minute or so
- Remove the vegetables from the pan and set to one side
- In the pan, add the lardons and cook for about 5 minutes until they have browned
- Add a dash of white wine or vermouth to deglaze the pan then add the chicken and other vegetables and season well
- Sprinkle over the flour and mix well so that all the contents of the pan are coated
- Add the chicken stock and crème fraîche and keep stirring until a thick, creamy sauce comes together
- Add the mustard and stir well
- Have a little taste of the sauce and add more seasoning or mustard if needed
- Allow this pie filling to cool then transfer to an oven proof dish
- Preheat your oven to 200°C, Gas Mark 5
- Now the topping! Lightly flour your work surface
- Roll out your pastry until it is about 2cm thick
- Lay it over your dish and trim off the excess around the edges
- You can even get a little bit creative with the leftover pastry!
- Brush the puff pastry with milk or a whisked egg and make two slits in the middle with a sharp knife for steam to escape
- Bake in your oven for about half an hour or until the pastry has risen and is a lovely golden brown colour
- Serve with mash for a proper winter warming dinner!