The days are brighter (at last!) and whilst we wait for the warmer days of summer, a chicken pie served with buttery spring greens is a winner at the weekend. There’s something comforting and rewarding in the ritual of preparing a whole chicken and making good use of every morsel. This version includes peas and asparagus for an extra special spring pie. Enjoy!
- 1 Whole Chicken (or skip this step and poach diced chicken: using mix of light and dark meat)
- 400g Onions plus 1 whole small onion
- 400g Leek - keep tops and trimmings
- 400g Carrots – plus 1 whole
- 10g Rosemary
- Pinch Nutmeg
- 1 sheet Puff Pastry
- Bechamel: 800ml milk (cows or oat), 50g flour, 50g oil or butter, 100g cheese
- 25g Garlic raw
- 20g Oil Rapeseed
- 1 Cup Spring Veg: peas and chopped asparagus
1. Create a stock pot for the chicken, wash the leeks and chop the tops and
roots off – put the tops in the pot along with washed and roughly chopped
carrot and extra onion. Untruss the chicken then add and gently add water,
enough to cover.
2. Place chicken pot on medium heat and bring to a simmer, turning down
the heat if needed to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 1 hour – 1hour 20
depending on size. Legs should easily come away and juices should run
clear when pierced with a knife. Turn off heat and let cool a little.
3. Carefully remove the chicken from stock pot and set aside, it will be hot!
Return the stock to a simmer for 25 mins.
4. Meanwhile, sweat the diced onion, carrot, finely chopped leeks with
rapeseed oil in pan for 10 mins or until softened
5. Add the garlic and finely chopped rosemary and cook for another 5mins
until all cooked and beginning to caramelise. Set aside
6. Make the bechamel by making a roux with flour and oil and cook out,
stirring constantly for 5 mins. Slowly add the milk, whisking well each time to ensure no lumps. Once the milk has thickened, turn off heat and add cheese.
9. Add the veg mix and nutmeg to the bechamel and stir to combine.
10. If the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and begin pulling
the meat for your pie mix, using both light and dark meat.
11. If feeding small children, chop the chicken smaller or pulse in magi mix very
lightly to shred.
12. Use a cup of chicken stock to loosen the bechamel mix and add flavour,
keep the rest to add to soups, risottos or sauces (freeze in ice cube trays for
13. Add the chicken to sauce
14. Bring a pot of water to boil, tip in the peas and chopped asparagus then
immediately drain and refresh under cold water, add to pie mix.
15. Tip the mix into your pie dish or into ramekins for individual pies for little
16. Chill the mix, to speed this up, you can plunge the base of the pie dish into
a sink of very cold water. Then put in the fridge to chill fully.
17. Once chilled, top with Puff pastry.
18. To decorate, use a cookie cutter and decorate as you wish! Brush with egg or a little milk, to make your decorations stick
20. Poke a small hole to allow steam to escape.
21. Chill the pie until ready to cook – this can be made and frozen and kept for
up to 3 months.
To cook fresh: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan then bake for 1 hour or
until pastry is crisp and golden (to cook from Frozen, allow an extra 20-25mins).