As the winter draws in and the nights get colder there can be only one solution: Pie.
When it comes to pies, it has to be savoury for me, and the king of one pot dinner pies is surely the classic Chicken and Tarragon. Here's how I made mine.
Chicken and Tarragon Vegetable Pie (Serves 2 hungry adults) You will need:
- 4 medium skinless and boneless chicken thighs (you can use breast but it tends to be quite dry when cooked for so long)
- 4 medium celery sticks
- 5 baby leeks - don't use normal leeks they're too tough
- 1 small onion or 3 shallots
- 1/2 a small pot of double cream
- baby chantenay carrots - about a 2/3 of a standard packet
- Handful of English Tarragon
- Chicken Stock (I use a cube made up with water)
- 1 sheet of pre made and pre-rolled puff pastry (unless you're feeling brave) I used a 'light' reduced butter version which made me feel better about the cream!
- 1-2 cloves of Garlic
- Salt and Pepper to season
Start by chopping - once you have started this off it moves quite quickly so chop your celery, carrots, leeks and onion/shallot into casserole sized chunks (nothing fancy) and the same with the chicken.
Take your largest saucepan and heat about a tablespoon of non flavoured oil - vegetable is fine but rapeseed is better. Once the oil is hot add in your chicken and cook for about 4 minutes, moving it round constantly (the oil will be really hot and the chicken will stick)
Once the chicken is mostly white (but not cooked through) put into a bowl and put to one side.
Without cleaning the saucepan - very important. Add in all of your veg, the garlic, salt and pepper and sweat for about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken and leave for a further 5 minutes
Pour in the stock, cream and the tarragon - leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
Once 10 minutes has passed transfer your mixture into a suitable sized glass or ceramic ovenproof dish. Set aside and leave to cool completely to room temperature.
When the mixture is totally cool, roll across your puff pastry sheet and squish the sides down under the lip of your dish. Decorate as you wish or not at all.
Bake at 200 degrees for 30 minutes - Do not leave in the oven for 30 minutes without turning the bugger on as I did!
Remove once golden brown
Bonus - Leftover carrots make an excellent emergency snack once you've run out of halloween sweets.