Difficulty: Easy Time : Serves: 4
- 4 chicken breast fillets, skin off, about 230-240g each
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 200g diced pancetta (available in pkts. at the supermarket)
- 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
- 2 leeks (white part only), halved lengthways, chopped
- 300g potatoes, peeled, cut into small cubes
- small bunch thyme
- Sea salt, white pepper
- 4 sheets of filo pastry
- 50g butter, melted
For the cream sauce
- 50g butter
- 50g plain flour
- 500ml chicken stock
- 200ml cream
To poach the chicken – this is a great method to use, as it produces a nice moist meat.
Put the chicken breasts in a single layer in a saucepan, add the stock to cover and bring to the boil over medium heat. Turn the breasts over, and cover with a piece of baking paper. Turn off the heat, and pull the pan completely off the cooktop (important if you’re using an electric cooktop), cover with a tight-fitting lid, and let it rest, off the heat, for 10-15 minutes depending on how big the chicken breasts are. Mine took about 12 minutes.
Shred the chicken breasts when they are cool enough to handle. I find two forks work really well. Cook the diced potatoes in the stock, for about 8 minutes or until just tender. Strain the stock and set aside.
For the chicken mix
Melt 50g butter in a pan over medium-low heat, add the diced pancetta and cook for 5 minutes. Now add the leeks and celery, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just soft.
For the sauce
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. whisk in the flour, cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Whisk in about 500ml of the reserved stock, and bring to the boil, stirring until thickened and smooth. Add the cream.
For the pastry tops
Brush 2 sheets of filo with melted butter and stack on top of one another. repeat with the remaining 2 sheets. Cut each one in 4 and scrunch each piece.
Assemble the the pot pies by combining the shredded chicken, cooked vegetables and sauce. Add thyme leaves to taste, about 8 sprigs, and season with salt and pepper. Top each pot with 2 scrunched pieces of filo and brush again with the remaining melted butter.
The mix can be refrigerated at this stage for later use. Just bring back to room temperature before baking with the pastry tops.
Place the ramekins on a baking tray and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the chicken mix is hot.
Winter Salad with Caramalzed Pecans
- 1/2 radicchio, outer leaves removed, thinly sliced
- baby rocket leaves
- 1/2 bunch watercress sprigs
- 1/2 baby gem lettuce
- 1 fennel bulb, finely shredded
- 1-2 radishes, very thinly sliced1
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 100g caster sugar
- 60ml water
- pinch dried chilli
- 200g pecans
- 40ml extra virgin olive oil
- 40ml grapeseed oil
- 2 tbs red wine vinegar
- 1 tbs Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey