Who doesn’t love a pie in the depths of winter? This is an absolute winner in our household and if you cheat like I do and use frozen puff pastry, it is also very simple.
You’ll Need: (all approximate amounts, trust your taste-buds and instincts.)
Chicken thigh fillets (1 pack) cut into bite size pieces, 1 leek, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 cup of sliced mushrooms (plain old button mushrooms work well), 3 sprigs of thyme, speck or bacon (equivalent to 3 slices of bacon), 1/2 cup of thickened cream, a large glass of white wine, 1/2 – 1 cup of chicken stock, 1/1 – 1 tablespoon of flour, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, EVOO, S&P and the yolk of one egg.
Take your frozen puff pastry out of the freezer to defrost and pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius.
In a large non-stick fry pan heat some EVOO and fry off your chicken pieces till they are just cooked and then set aside.
Add the bacon to the pan and brown, then add a knob of butter and toss in the leeks, garlic, mushrooms and thyme and cook till soft and fragrant. Add the chicken back to the pan and bring back to the simmer.
Add the white wine and reduce, then add the stock (enough to create a sauce), and a bit of flour to thicken and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes till thick and rich. Add the cream, dijon mustard and season well, stir to combine.
Don’t worry if the sauce is too runny as it will be going into the oven which will reduce it further. Even if it doesn’t reduce all the way, it should be rich and yummy and perfect for soaking up stray bits of pastry. If in doubt, pour a bit of the liquid off.
Use your pie dishes to cut out pastry lids (I like my pastry lid to sit within the dish, but my husband likes it folded over so there is plenty of it!). Spoon the filling into pie dishes or ramekins, about 3/4 full (you don’t want it to bubble over in the oven) and pop on the pastry lids.
If you are folding the pastry over the edge of the dish, make sure you tuck it around neatly and score the edge with a fork so it is pretty. With a sharp knife poke a few holes in the top of each pie so the steam can escape. If you are feeling creative, cut out shapes from the left over pastry so you can personalise each pie.
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the pastry with beaten egg yolk.
Put in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until the pastry is cooked and has turned a golden brown colour.
Let the pies cool before you dig in. There is nothing worse than burning your mouth on the first bite and not being able to taste the rest of the deliciousness. Take it from my experience!