I wasn't intending to blog this recipe. It was just something thrown together with various odds and ends to use up the remains of a rotisserie chicken that we accidentally managed to purchase last week.
You may ask how one accidentally buys a rotisserie chicken to which I say to you, if one goes to their favourite bar for a quick drink after a very pleasant couple of hours at the cinema ("Inside Llewyn Davis" - wonderful) and that quick drink turns into three glasses of wine on an empty stomach then one is quite likely, alongside one's partner in crime, to cross the road into the shining beacon that is Waitrose and do a bit of tipsy shopping. It is the middle aged, middle class equivalent of buying a kebab on the way home after a night downing Jaegerbombs.
So anyway, we ended up with a rotisserie chicken that we hadn't quite planned for, and it did for a few sandwiches but there was meat left that needed using and I thought, what about a nice pot pie. I am firmly of the opinion, incidentally, that a pie is only a pie if it has pastry all the way around it. A pot pie, on the other hand, is what a lot of pubs serve up under the guise of a pie, that is, it just has the pastry on top. It is a lot more diet friendly, obviously, and feels naughty without being too many points (or calories).
It is important though that the filling is rich and savoury and has enough sauce that it will bubble up around the sides of the pastry and dribble down the sides of your beautiful new Le Creuset ramekins. This filling fits the bill perfectly.
As I said, I wasn't intending to blog this recipe. But then I had the final portion of pie filling for lunch today (the amount of chicken I had stretched easily to three) mixed with pasta and topped with a bit of cheese and I thought it was utterly scrummy like that too.
110g roast chicken, mixed, roughly shredded
Onion, finely chopped,
Carrot, finely chopped
2 leeks, sliced
Tsp dry thyme
2 tbsp white wine
20g plain flour
400ml chicken stock
Heaped tsp Dijon mustard
100g puff pastry
Makes 3 pies, 8pp per pie (chicken filling is 4pp a portion if eating without pastry)
Put a large, non stick pan over a low heat and gently start to cook the onion and carrot pieces, with a good pinch of salt so that they will sweat. Meanwhile, rinse the leeks to remove any grit from the layers and do not dry too thoroughly - the residual water will help steam the veg. Transfer the leeks into the veg plan, season well with salt, pepper and the thyme. Pour in the wine and allow to bubble off to nearly nothing. Continue to cook gently. The carrots may still be on the al dente side when you come to make the pie filling but don't worry - they will finish their cooking in the oven.
In a second pan you can prepare the sauce. Start by making up the chicken stock and have it standing by. We use Knorr stock pots but any decent stock will do.
Melt the butter and then add the flour and stir briskly to make a paste. Add the stock a splash at a time, combining well at each stage. Sometimes it will feel as if the sauce is not going to come together - the flour paste will appear as lumps in the liquid. Be firm with it - vigorous stirring and it will amalgamate. Keep going until all the stock is added. Allow to bubble briefly, finally adding some more seasoning and the mustard.
You can now combine the sauce and the vegetables and stir through the chicken. Transfer the mix to three ramekins.
To finish off the pies, preheat the oven to 180. Cook the chicken mix for fifteen minutes and, while it is in the oven, roll out the pastry on a floured surface. Cut out circles that fit on the top of the ramekins, using any trimmings to make leaves for the pie top. Or birds. Or splodges. Top the pies and bake for a further fifteen minutes until puffed, golden and delicious.