Now that your store cupboards are fully stocked and readily primed for your future culinary creations, here is a recipe to get you started: the humble chicken pot-pie. Inspired by the recent pastry week on Bake Off, this all in one pie is super easy to make and if your cupboards are stocked you won’t need to leave the house for any dry ingredients!
Chicken is a good meat to use as it is cheap and an all round crowd pleaser. I like to add in chunks of ham too but you could also fry off bacon as a substitute or just leave the meat altogether and make a vege pot instead. Similarly, you can substitute the peas and sweetcorn for any veg of your choice (leeks and mushrooms work really well.) For the sake of ease, you can use shop bought shortcrust pastry for the pies – which you can also keep in the freezer should you want to save some for a later date. How about a jam turnover?
Firstly, preheat the oven to 200°C. Roll out and line your tin with the pastry. Roll out an extra circle that you can place on top of the pie to act as the lid. Boil some frozen peas or sweetcorn – or both – in a pan and drain.
For the sauce, melt 60g butter on a low heat in a saucepan. Next, whisk in 50g flour and a chicken or vegetarian stock cube. Take the mixture off the heat and slowly start adding 625ml of milk, bit by bit, until it becomes a smooth paste. Place back onto a medium-high heat, don’t let it boil over, season with some salt and pepper to taste and continually whisk. When the sauce becomes thick take it off the heat and place into a large bowl.
Dice or shred the cooked chicken (250g) and ham (125g) and stir into the sauce with the peas and sweetcorn. If you wish you can also add some dried mixed herbs and even sweat off a diced onion too! Spoon the mixture into your lined tin, dampen the edges of the pie with a bit of water and place the lid on top. Seal the edges with the prongs of a fork.
Depending on how creative you’re feeling and the amount of pastry you have leftover, you could even cut out letters or decorations to adorn your pie creation. Brush the pastry all over with egg-wash. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes and enjoy.
[Image; Wikimedia Commons]