Resurrected chicken dinner

By: Nicola Bolton

I must be in honest in saying that it is not often that I try and make something new out of left-overs. Recently I broke that mould. My son complained that last night’s chicken drumsticks were, I quote, “gross”. That was very unfortunate as I had planned on heating them up again for a second meal. Taking the constructive criticism on board, I decided to resurrect the drumsticks and turn them into a pie. It was quite a cold evening, and this pie was just perfect. You could make it out of almost any left-over chicken, just be sure to remove the bones and shred the meat.

Left-Over Chicken Pie

Lashings of freshly ground salt and pepper
Olive oil
250g sliced button mushrooms
30g butter
2 trimmed leeks, sliced
2 tbsp plain flour
300ml chicken stock (vegetable stock is fine)
500g cooked chicken, shredded
4 tbsp crème fraîche
Handful chopped fresh parsley
150g grated cheese
A packet of frozen pre-made flaky puff pastry sheets, thawed

Start by preheating your oven to 190C on bake. Pop a large pan on the stove top on a fairly high heat. Add your olive oil and cook your mushrooms; stirring until golden. Add salt and pepper to taste. Scoop your mushrooms out of the pan and pop them aside. Add the leeks and butter to the pan now. Cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes or until the leeks are really soft, then sprinkle with the flour. Stir the leeks for two more minutes, gradually adding your chicken stock. Simmer for three to four minutes, stirring occasionally as it thickens; you want it to be fairly thick. Add the chicken, crème fraîche, mushrooms and parsley. Add lashings more salt and pepper to taste.
You can use a big dish, a couple of smaller baking dishes or pie tins to create your pie. You will just need to adjust your filling to suit. I recommend covering your dishes with baking paper. Cover your desired trays with a sheet of pastry cut to fit. Poke a few holes in the bottom with your knife. Add your desired amount of filling then top with cheese. Brush the sides of the pastry with the egg. Add a top sheet of pastry crimping the edges (with a fork) so that the top and bottom layer are together at the sides – this way the filling won’t erupt out. Brush the top of the pastry with egg and poke in more holes. Pop your pie(s) in the centre tray of the oven for 20 to 35 minutes, depending on pie size. You will know it is done when the pastry on top is golden brown, puffed and flaky. Enjoy fresh from the oven!

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