Maggie Molloy’s chicken pot pie

Maggie Molloy’s chicken pot pie
Serves: 4
Course: Dinner
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 40g butter
  • 40g flour
  • 2 chicken stock cubes/pots
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs
  • For the mash:
  • 1.2kg potatoes
  • 50g butter
  • Salt
  1. Add the chicken breasts, carrots, onions, chicken stock, black pepper and mixed herbs to a large saucepan. Cover with boiling water. Bring it back to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, make the roux. Melt the butter in a pan. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook for about one minute and leave to one side for later.
  3. While your chicken and veg are still bubbling away, peel your potatoes and put them on to cook in whatever way you prefer. I use an electric steamer.
  4. After 20 minutes is up for the chicken, remove the chicken and veg from the pot and leave to one side to cool. Boil down the remaining stock to about 350ml. It can be difficult to check the amount of stock left if you aren’t prepared, so make sure to have a heat-proof pint jug on standby that you can pour the stock into, to check the volume. If it’s more than 350ml, pour it back into the saucepan and boil it for a little while longer.
  5. When you get to 350ml, add the cream to the remaining stock and bring it to a boil. Then add the roux and whisk until fully combined. The sauce will thicken at this stage.
  6. Pull the cooked chicken fillets apart with two forks and add them back to the creamy sauce along with your veg. Season to your desired taste (salt is all I add here, you will be surprised how tasty it is). Then transfer the filling to a pie dish.
  7. Preheat your fan-oven to 200C. There is no need to do this earlier, leaving the sauce sitting for a half hour while the oven preheats, gives it just the right amount of time to cool and set, which will in turn stop your mash from sinking into the sauce when you get to the assembling stage.
  8. Once your potatoes are tender, mash them with butter, salt and black pepper. Spread evenly on top of the sauce and fluff the top with a fork. Make a little air hole in the centre for the pie to breathe.
  9. Cook in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the pie is bubbling around the sides and your potatoes have a nice crisp to them.