British Pie Week – The Savoury Episode

When I last left Liverpool for Oxford, I was very fortunate to sub let my house to two delightful little people who became great friends. This pie is known as Holly’s Pie because she used to demand it along with her boyfriend, Lee. I used to make this for us regularly and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything that is as comforting as this. I got the original recipe from the Cook in Boots book by Ravinder Bhogal so you could turn to that for the absolute verbatim version!

It’s not a pie that’s short on calories but if you can’t imbibe sinful pie during British Pie Week, when can you?!

I like to use chopped, boned chicken thigh as the meat cooks to a much more tender point but I know that some people are much happier if this is cooked with chicken breast. I meander between using smoked bacon and pancetta depending on what’s in the fridge, my favourite are those thick smoky lardons you sometimes find in the pork section. Bigger than a piece of pancetta and thicker than sliced bacon. I also change the wine to cider and back and the mushrooms can be left in or sometimes ignored. It’s a sort of mish-mash recipe which suits the kind of nights you get home from work and feel like making something delicious for the ones you love, or even yourself!

Holly’s Pie (Chicken, Mushroom, Leek and Bacon)

serves about 4 (although less if hungry boys are about!)

  • 8 chicken thighs, skinned, boned and chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 large knob of butter
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 250g mushrooms
  • 4 thick sprigs of thyme and parsley
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 200ml double cream
  • 375g puff pastry
  • 1 egg beaten
  1. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken thighs. This part is a bit gory and I often get Ant to do this because he’s an excellent sous-chef! Chop into inchy sort of pieces.
  2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  3. Melt the butter in a nice pan that you can pop in the oven and add chicken, salt and pepper and seal the chicken.
  4. Add the leeks, mushrooms, thyme and lemon zest to the chicken and turn the temperature down a little.
  5. Once the mushrooms have browned sprinkle in the flour and stir in.
  6. Pour in the wine and let cook down. You can then stir in the cream and lemon juice.
  7. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Roll out pastry to 1cm thick and drape over the edge of your casserole pot or you could decant into a pie dish. Neaten the edges of the pie and brush with beaten egg.
  9. Bake for 25mins until golden.

As with fish pie, I like to have this with mashed potato and peas.

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