one of the things i love about cooking, and which makes me feel incredibly satisfied, is the way that dishes segue into one another and you can avoid wastage by using leftovers creatively.
this chicken pie is the interim dish between the roast chicken pasta we had last weekend (chicken as the connection) and the precursor to the courgette and parma ham tart i made for our packed lunches (pastry as the connection). we’ll be having chicken and noodle miso soup at some point later in the week which takes me back to the chicken again, via the leftover meat and stock which i have frozen.
the pie was delicious. it was all about fridgebottom vegetables, storecupboard items and using things up before they went off. as such there is not a formal recipe, more a narrative of how things came together.
i cooked some sliced leeks in butter, over a low heat until they had softened and become translucent. meanwhile i was soaking a handful of dried porcini with a few sundried tomatoes as well as chopping chestnut mushrooms into small dice. the chopped porcini and tomatoes, plus their soaking liquid, went into the pan with the leeks, along with the fresh mushrooms. these cooked until the mushrooms had softened and released their liquid, most of which i boiled away.
a generous knob of butter plus, once this had melted, a few tablespoons of flour (which i sprinkled over everything in stages, stirring in between so there were no lumps) which resulted in a buttery/flour mix coating everything. this was the roux for my white sauce so i let it cook for a few minutes, stirring often, to ensure the end dish wouldn’t taste of raw flour. milk added gradually made a white sauce and i then stirred in a teaspoon of dijon mustard, the same of tapenade and some sour cream to add a bit of sharpness. seasoning plus finely chopped sage leaves finished everything off nicely.
the mixture was split between ramekins which were topped with puff pastry discs (i use a thin slice of pastry along the rim of the dish to give the pastry something to stick to) then into the oven for half an hour at 200c (browned top and filling starting to bubble underneath). we ate this with courgettes, slow-cooked with garlic and chilli, in a similar style to my tart topping. full circle in three meals.