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Tummy warmer

‘This pie is the ultimate meal for a cold winter day,’ says Social media star and So Delish! author Simone Anderson. ‘Digging into one of these crispy pies will make you feel instantly warmer inside. I grew up making pies in my grandmother’s kitchen, helping her roll out the pastry and cutting out (uneven) initials to go on top. To me this pie means happiness and family — it makes me feel safe and my heart content.’

Chicken and Leak Pot Pie

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon olive oil

400g chicken thigh fillets, skinned, boned and chopped into 2cm cubes

2 tablespoons butter

2 leeks, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 heaped teaspoon dried thyme

¼ cup plain flour, plus extra for dusting

2 cups sliced button mushrooms

1½ cups warmed milk

Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Olive oil spray

2 sheets flaky pastry

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

TO SERVE:

Salad leaves

Relish of your choice

METHOD:

• Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat.

• In batches, add the chicken and cook for 4–5 minutes, or until golden. Remove the chicken from the pan, set aside and keep warm.

• Add the butter, leeks, garlic and thyme to the pan and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the leeks have softened.

• Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.

• Add the mushrooms, milk, salt and pepper and cook, stirring regularly, for a further 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

• Return the chicken to the sauce and mix gently to combine. Refrigerate until cooled to room temperature.

• Lightly spray a 20cm (8 in) pie dish with oil and pour in the cooled chicken mixture, or divide it among 4 individual pie tins. On a floured surface, join the 2 pastry sheets and roll out slightly to make a bigger sheet.

• Place the pastry on top of the pie dish and trim the excess around the sides of the dish.

• If you're making individual pies cut 2 circles to fit your pie dishes out of each sheet of pastry.

• Prick the pastry lid with a fork, then brush with the egg.

• Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 30–40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. Serve with salad and relish.

• Serves 4 or makes four individual pies.

• Time to make: 1 hour.

So Delish! Super easy, fresh meals for every day by Simone Anderson. Photography by Melanie Jenkins. RRP$39.99. Published by Allen & Unwin NZ. Available online from The Warehouse, Mighty Ape and Paper Plus (and check your local bookseller).

Chicken and Leak Pot Pie.