I came across the Waiter, there’s something in my pie event (hosted by Cook Sister!) a bit late, but given the trend for pies I thought I’d share this recipe as a) it’s darn tasty and b) it’s incredibly easy. Now, I cheat – I don’t make my own puff pastry. I know that it’s straightforward, especially using a food processor. I’m afraid my excuse is lack of space (very convenient, I know). My kitchen is basically in the understairs cupboard, and consists of one sink, one cooker and one teensy patch of worksurface, so half way into a recipe I just run out of room to put things down in, let along roll pastry out. Plus it’s boiling hot – cupboards don’t have windows remember – so that pretty much kills pastry in any case. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…
This is a great way to use up any leftover roast chicken and any odd vegetables that might be marauding around the fridge. I used a leek and frozen peas, my mum used to make a garden pie using baby carrots – really, you could make any vegetables work.
Quantities given are for a pie dish that measures 18cm across the narrow base, and serve 2 hungry people.
300ml whole milk
250g leftover roast chicken meat
1 leek, washed and thinly sliced
150g peas, frozen is fine
1 pack ready rolled puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Sauté the leek and peas in a little butter until tender. You could also steam your vegetables here if you prefer.
Make a white sauce by melting the butter in a pan, then stirring in the flour, cooking this roux for a few minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the milk bit by bit, until smoothly combined. Return to a medium heat, and cook for 10 minutes until the sauce is thickened, creamy and glossy. Season well with salt and pepper, and perhaps a touch of grated nutmeg.
Take the saucepan off the heat, stir in the leftover chicken and cooked vegetables. Butter your pie dish lightly, and add the filling. Dampen the edges of the pie dish with a little milk, and lay the puff pastry on top. Trim the edges, leaving just a little outside the edge, 1/2cm or so, as the pastry will shrink slightly on cooking. Make a few cuts in the pastry with a sharp knife to let steam escape, and then bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling up. If you have a fierce fan oven which tends to burn pastry easily, just cover the pie with foil for the rest of the cooking time.
I served this with some steamed brussel sprouts, which I adore, but I understand if you choose a different accompaniment!