CHICKEN, LEEK AND MUSHROOM PIE
This week it is a slightly more complicated recipe than usual, BUT this pie is a family favourite and well worth the effort!
Makes 4 individual pies
2 large chicken breasts
4 chicken thighs
2 bay leaves
small handful of thyme sprigs
2 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
200g button mushrooms, halved and stalks removed
75g plain flour
salt and ground black pepper
100ml crème frâiche
Place the chicken pieces n a large pan with the bay leaves, thyme sprigs and the leek and mushroom trimmings. Pour over 500ml cold water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer or slow bubbles and cook for 20 min. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. When cold, drain through a sieve into a large jug. Discard the chicken skin and bones and break the meat up into bite sized pieces. Set the chicken meat and stock aside in a cool place.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium heavy based saucepan, add the mushrooms and leeks and cook, stirring for 5-10min or until soft. Then sprinkle over the flour and cook stirring for 1min. Then add about 450ml of the stock, bring to the boil, stirring all the time to make a smooth thick sauce.
Remove from the heat, season well. Add the cooked chicken and crème frâiche, stir well and then spoon into the pie dishes.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly dusted work surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Cut thin strips from the edges and use a little water to stick these around the lip of the pie dishes, then wet the top of the pastry strip. Lift the pastry on top of the pie, trim the edges and crimp them with your fingers or a fork. Brush the top with milk and cut a steam hole in the middle.Use any pastry trimmings to decorate the pies.
Put the dishes on a baking sheet,place in the oven and cook at 200° for 20-25 mins until the pastry is risen and golden. Some of the filling will have bubbled up through the steam hole. Then sit back and enjoy your pie BUT be careful, the pie will be HOT.