Creamy Chicken Pie

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Recipe by Naomi Sherman

There’s no denying it any longer
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We have had a definite chill inn the evening air lately and I’m thinking about winter comfort food
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I made this pie for my Business of Edible Images group as part of our monthly challenge and it was so good that I rushed to write down the recipe before I forgot
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Rich and creamy with a punch of flavour, it makes one large family pie or can be just as easily turned into individual hand pies to freeze and eat later
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Comfort food done right

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 4 chicken breast fillets

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 200 grams smoked bacon, diced

  • 4 stalks celery, finely chopped

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced

  • 3 tablespoons plain flour

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

  • 1 can light evaporated milk

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 3 sheets puff pastry

  • 1 egg yolk, beaten lightly with a splash of cold water

Directions

  • Bring stock to the boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.
  • Add chicken; return to the boil. Reduce the heat and poach the chicken for about 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
  • Remove chicken and chop into chunky bite-sized pieces, sit aside in a bowl until ready to use.
  • Keep the poaching stock in the saucepan.
  • In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and then add the bacon and cook until it starts to brown.
  • Add the celery, onion, carrot and leek.
  • Cook for about five minutes, stirring regularly, until the vegetables start to soften.
  • Add the flour and the herbs, cooking while stirring for about 2 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of the poaching stock, mustard and evaporated milk.
  • Cook until mixture thickens, stirring to prevent sticking.
  • Return the chopped chicken to the pan and mix.
  • Season with salt and pepper and allow to cool.
  • Remove the puff pastry sheets from the freezer and let thaw.
  • Preheat your oven to very hot, approx 220°C
  • Grease an oven proof skillet or pie dish and brush the edges with egg wash.
  • Cut five strips from one sheet of pastry and lay them around the rim of your dish, overlapping where required. Brush tops with egg wash.
  • Press down firmly.
  • Spoon the cool filling into the dish and then carefully drape a full sheet of pastry over the top, stretching it slightly to cover the pastry strips.
  • Press down firmly to stick the layers together and then trim excess from around the edges of the dish.
  • Use the last sheet of pastry to cut out decorative leaves and or other shapes.
  • Brush the top of the pie with egg wash and cut four steam vents in the centre.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.