This is a fabulous recipe my mum used to make when my brothers and I were little. It’s pretty quick for how tasty it is, and the chicken means it’s lighter than your typical pie. You could even choose to just eat the filling, like a sort of creamy casserole, with mashed potato.
I had to guess at the recipe, because Mum described it to me as she put on her shoes and answered an email on her phone, so I’m pretty sure I did a lot of it wrong – but it turned out great, if I do say so. I made enough for my mum, dad and I to stuff ourselves, and we even had a whole other, slightly larger, pie to stick in the freezer.
Serves about 7 people.
250g of chicken thigh fillets (breast is fine, but drier);
1 tub of Philadelphia cream cheese or similar;
plenty of garlic;
1 little onion;
filo pastry (I bought mine ready-rolled);
1 beaten egg;
1 stock cube;
a little flour for thickening;
2 bay leaves;
some dry thyme;
and a bottle of white wine (you only need half the bottle – but the other half made the cooking process much more enjoyable).
- Boil the chicken for 20 minutes in plenty of water. Just after bringing the pot to the boil, add the bay leaves, stock cube, some pepper, and stir well.
- Meanwhile, chop your leeks, garlic and onions and put them in a huge frying pan on a low heat with the butter. Let them sweat until they’re almost soft.
- Liberally add wine to the leek/onion/butter pan and turn up the heat until the mixture is bubbling. Add peas, thyme, salt and pepper. Gradually add a little flour until the mixture is quite thick.
- Drain the chicken, retaining the water for stock. Running the hot chicken under the cold water tap so you don’t burn your fingers, shred the meat into whichever size of chunk you prefer in your pie.
- Mix the chicken into the filling mixture, then add the stock from the chicken pan and stir, heating all the while.
- Once the filling is well mixed, use a spatula to spoon the cream cheese in, and stir until smooth. Taste it – at this point it should be so good you wanna sit on the floor and share the whole pan with the dog.
- If you manage to resist that, ladle the delicious filling into a baking dish lined with filo pastry. Add a filo pastry lid and paint with egg. If, like me, you made loads, separate into several different pastry-lined dishes for easy freezing.
- Bake the pie for 20 minutes at 180 degrees, then cover with foil and bake for a further 10 minutes. Serve with your choice of roasted asparagus or kale.