Chris Bavin's Chicken Pie
Everybody loves a pie! The best thing about this one is that you can make and serve it in the same pan, so there’s hardly any washing up. Also the filo pastry is lighter than a buttery puff or shortcrust pastry. To get ahead, make the filling a day in advance, then just reheat, top with the pastry, and bake.
|3–4 tbsp||olive oil|
|750g (1lb 10oz)||skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into large chunks|
|3||leeks, or 1 large onion, sliced|
|1||red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced|
|1 tbsp||fresh thyme leaves|
|30g (1oz)||plain flour|
|175ml (6fl oz)||milk|
|150ml (5fl oz)||chicken stock|
|100g (3½oz)||frozen peas|
|195g||can, or half a can if already opened, of sweetcorn, drained|
|zest of 1 lemon|
|salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|5||sheets of filo pastry|
|50g (1¾oz)||butter, melted|
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF/Gas 4). Heat some of the oil in a frying pan and add the chicken in batches, frying the thighs until they’re a light golden brown. Take them out of the pan and set them to one side before repeating with the remaining thighs.
2. Add a little more oil and the butter to the pan and fry the leeks or onion, pepper, and thyme for about 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the flour and cook for another 2 minutes before reducing the heat and gradually adding the milk, stirring all the time to prevent lumps. Once all the milk is added, pour in the stock and stir well. Bring to a simmer and continue stirring until the sauce has thickened.
3. Return the chicken to the pan and simmer everything gently for 15 minutes, then stir in the peas, sweetcorn, and lemon zest and season to taste. Either transfer the mixture to an ovenproof pie dish, or if the frying pan has a heatproof handle – about 28cm (11in) in length – keep the mixture in the pan.
4. Brush one side of the filo pastry sheets with the melted butter then scrunch them on top of the pie mixture. Sprinkle a little black pepper over the top and pop the pie in the oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown and piping hot.
Love your leftovers:
If you don’t manage to eat this pie in one go, remove the pastry top and chill the chicken filling for up to 3 days. Reheat it in a pan with 2 tablespoons of crème fraîche or cream cheese and some grated Parmesan. Add a little stock or water to loosen the mix, along with chopped herbs, then serve stirred through cooked pasta.