You just can't beat a homemade pie and John's in the kitchen ready to lift our midweek mood. Chicken, leek and mushroom pie with pastry on the top and bottom - it’s a bit like a posh pasty and just what you need on a cold autumn night. And after a new mashed potato hack has surfaced online, we’ll be putting it to the test!
Chicken, leek and mushroom pie
1 large chicken, about 1.5kg (or use 500g leftover roast chicken torn into thumb sized pieces)
2 bay leaves
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 chicken stock cube
200ml milk, plus extra for brushing
2 leeks, diced
300g button mushrooms
50g plain flour
50ml double cream
handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
800g puff pastry
Flour, to dust
Egg to glaze (1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
Drop the chicken into a really large pan with the bay leaves, onion, garlic and stock cube and season. Add the milk and then top up with water to cover the chicken. Bring to the boil and then slowly simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken and leave to cool breast side down on a plate. Strain the cooking liquid, keeping back 200ml. Throw away the rest. Alternatively if you are using leftover roast chicken simply use 200ml plain chicken stock.
Mean while in a large sauté pan, cook the leeks and mushrooms in the butter over a medium heat with 50ml of water until soft. Add the flour and stir to make a paste (roux), then slowly add the reserved cooking liquid (or stock), stirring all the time to make the sauce. Bring to the boil and the sauce will thicken to a sticky, custardy consistency, then stir in the cream.
Peel the skin off the chicken and throw it away (it’s not nice in a pie). Strip the chicken carcass of all its meat and tear it into thumb-sized pieces.
To assemble the pie: Drop the chicken into the leek and the mushroom sauce, add the parsley, season and stir it all together. Spoon the pie filling into a lasagne dish and leave the mixture to cool a little.
Divide the puff pastry into two. Roll out one half into a 30cm round (the dough will be very thin). Transfer to a lightly buttered pizza tin or sheet.
Leaving a 2.5cm margin all around, arrange the pie mixture over the pastry.
Roll out the remaining half of the pastry into a round about 33cm in diameter.
Brush the margin around the mixture with some of the egg glaze. Place the pastry lid over the top and use a fork or your thumb and forefinger to crimp all around and seal it.
Brush the top with the remaining glaze. With the back of a knife, make shallow lines from the centre to the edge to create a Catherine wheel pattern in the pastry.
Preheat the oven to 210oc . Bake the pie for 15 minutes on the lowest oven shelf, then lower the temperature to 180oc and cook for 40 minutes, it will be golden brown.