In full on autumn mode here – ‘have emptied the freezer of all the BBQ supplies and now planning a restock for the colder months.
This is an absolutely delicious, easy crowd pleaser which freezes well for busy days and ravenous crowds. The recipe makes enough for two family size pies and a couple of individuals to boot for the freezer. The trick with this fella is the long slow cook before it hits the pie dish, leaving you with chicken that melts in the mouth, a mix of delicious flavours and a splash of autumnal colour.
Lots of sneaky veg tucked in here but hidden in the creamy sauce.
Obviously if you are so inclined then by all means make your own puff pastry – I used shop bought as life & time is too short. You could also substitute for scrunched up filo pastry on top instead to save a few calories.
Chicken & Bacon Pies
10/12 smoked pancetta/ thin cut bacon strips (broadly 1 packet)
200g (ish) button mushrooms, quartered
10 boned chicken thigh fillets, skin off & seasoned well
2 large leeks, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Good glug of dry white wine
500ml hot chicken stock
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 packet/tin chopped Italian tomatoes
100g low fat crème fraîche
2 sheets of low fat ready rolled puff pastry/filo
Prepare the slow cooker for action by keeping the dish near the stove top. Grab a frying pan and cook off the pancetta until crisp, then pop it into the waiting dish with a slotted spoon. Cook the mushrooms off in the fat that’s left and when golden brown, send them to join the pancetta.
Melt some coconut or olive oil to the pan and sear the chicken thigh fillets in batches until golden on each side and pop them into the casserole dish as you go.
Add a touch more oil and fry off the leeks and garlic until they soften. Splash in a small glass of wine and reduce until almost dried off. Add to the dish with their friends.
Tip in the stock, turmeric and tomatoes and stir well. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. When you take it off the heat, stir in the crème fraîche and cool.
When ready to assemble, distribute your filling between your dishes and top with your choice of pastry. Brush with beaten egg white or milk.
Chill before cooking in a medium oven (190dg/Gas 5) for 30-40 minutes. Alternatively, chill and cover well to pop into the freezer for another day.
Serve with steamed fine beans, cavolo nero or similar and a few crushed new baby potatoes drizzled with fresh olive oil.