The ultimate tasty, fuss-free chicken pie: it’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser

Kitchen Cabinet: Chef Shane Smith shares a recipe perfect for using up odd bits and bobs

Shane Smith’s chicken, bacon and leek pie

Shane Smith’s chicken, bacon and leek pie

 

As a pastry chef, I’m surrounded by sugar and chocolate, so when I get home I love nothing more than venturing to the dark side, aka savoury.

My style of home cooking is very similar to my baking - simple, honest, tasty, fuss-free food. As much fun as it is to experiment with dishes, sometimes people can over complicate things. Simplicity is best.

I have made this dish so many times, I’ve lost count. The reason I love it so much is the fact it can be on the dinner table reasonably quickly and it is really tasty. I also love the versatility of the dish and how you can use up whatever vegetables and greens you have at home.

I think now, more than ever, people are cooking a lot more at home and are delving deep into their cupboards and freezer to see what they have. This dish is a perfect way to use up those odd bits and bobs.

If you don’t have creme fraiche, you can use cream or just straight up chicken stock. Support your local producers and markets by loading this pie up with your favourite fresh greens. I absolutely adore the simplicity and versatility of this one pie wonder. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

CREAMY CHICKEN, BACON AND LEEK PIE

Serves four to five

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Ingredients
3 tbsp oil
3 large chicken breasts
150g dry cured streaky rashers, chopped
½ leek, chopped
1 tbsp flour
300ml chicken stock
250g creme fraiche
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp thyme, chopped (or half tsp dried thyme)
Black pepper, to taste
1 x 400g block all butter puff pastry (I use the Irish brand Roll It), at room temperature
Egg wash (1 egg whisked with a dash of milk)

Method

1. Heat some oil in a medium sized frying pan, and to this add the diced chicken and cook until it begins to take colour, then add the chopped bacon and continue to cook.

2. To this you can add the chopped leeks, turn the heat down and continue to cook for a further two minutes, then add the flour and stir it in.

3. At this point add the chicken stock, creme fraiche, mustard and thyme.

4. Pour the contents of the pan into a deep baking/pie dish.

5. Roll the pastry out on a floured work surface to fit the top of your baking dish. Always roll it slightly bigger as the pastry will shrink slightly during baking.

6. Egg-wash the top of the pastry and using the back of a knife lightly score criss cross lines on top, taking care not to cut through the pastry.

7. Place in a preheated oven set at 200°C / 180°C Fan/ 400°F/ Gas 6) and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the sauce can be seen bubbling around the edges.

8. Serve with a bowl of dressed salad leaves.

Kitchen Cabinet is a series of recipes from chefs who are members of Euro-toques Ireland who have come together during the coronavirus outbreak to share some of the easy, tasty things that they like to cook and eat at home #ChefsAtHome

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