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IMG_4147It’s February (hurrah!) but warm temperatures are still a long way off – and when you live in the UK, there’s never any guarantee that an actual summer will materialise! So I’m still craving hot and warming comfort food – anything involving gravy, mashed potato, and pies have been on my to-eat list this winter, despite not being a pie fan in the past.

This chicken and veg pie, with a homemade tarragon and lemon infused sauce and puff pastry on top, is a cinch to make and tastes delicious. Best of all, the filling freezes really well for a wholesome ready meal whenever you’re in need of comfort on a plate.

Psst – of course I used ready made puff pastrynot even chefs make their own! This pie will serve four people, and I’d really recommend making more than you need so that you can freeze some leftovers. Oh, and I also made a veggie version of this pie using quorn chicken pieces which was equally as delicious.

Set to simmer these veggies sliced medium finely on a low heat –

  • 1 large leek
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 large red onion
  • 7 mushrooms (regular)

Meanwhile, cook 500g of chicken, in small bite size pieces (or you can also add already cooked chicken into your pie).

While the veggies are softening, make your sauce – you’ll need –

  • 25g butter
  • 25g flour
  • 350ml chicken stock
  • lemon juice
  • sprigs of fresh tarragon

First, melt your butter gently in a saucepan and then add the flour. Cook for a moment on a low heat – the mixture will be straw coloured and thick. Next, pour in the chicken stock and simmer gently. The mixture will thicken quickly, and once its a good spoon coating consistency (similar to a very thick soup), take it off the heat and stir in lemon juice and tarragon to taste.

Once your veggies and chicken are cooked and the sauce is done, you’re ready for pie! At this stage, I froze my pie mix in a very strong freezer bag, putting in the cooled veggies, chicken and sauce together – I then defrosted it overnight before using it.

IMG_4142To cook, preheat your oven to 220C/gas mark 7/425F and tip your filling and sauce into a large ovenproof dish. Brush the edges of your dish with beaten egg, and secure your rolled out puff pastry on top of the filling. Cut a couple of air slits in the pastry and brush the whole thing with beaten egg and pop into the oven for 25-35 minutes. IMG_4146 IMG_4148Serve with peas and gravy (or whatever you want!).

I had some leftover chicken pie filling, so I recycled it into some cute mini pies using ready made shortcrust pastry. I simply cut out rounds of pastry using a large glass, and then sprayed a cupcake tin with cooking oil and pushed the rounds inside, added a spoonful or two of filling, and then added a little butterfly of pastry on top of each one (I need to get more mini cookie cutters!). Easy peasy, and great for parties.IMG_4152

x Kerry