There’s nothing better on a cold, miserable evening than a nice warming pie – comfort food at its best. This is great for using up any left over chicken you have from your roast dinner, and it’s really simple to make. We actually served this between the two of us with just some steamed veg on the side (yes, we’re pigs) but it would easily feed four with a side of potatoes too. You could even make four individual pies in large ramekins – it’d make dishing up a little easier (less messy)!
8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
2 large chicken breasts (or equivalent in thigh/leg meat), roasted
One large onion, finely diced
500ml whole milk
120g strong cheddar cheese, grated
Salt, pepper and a pinch of rosemary to season
1 egg, light beaten
Once batch of rough puff pastry (or a sheet of ready made puff pastry – I won’t tell if you don’t)
Pre-heat your oven to 180c.
In a frying pan, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan and place on some kitchen towel to soak up any excess fat. Add the onions to the pan and sauté for a few minutes until soft, then remove from the heat.
Now for the sauce. In a large saucepan over a medium heat, gently melt the butter. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes while constantly whisking. Now add the milk; do this in 3 or 4 stages, whisking well in-between each addition. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and let it gently simmer for another 2 minutes, whisking all the while until thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and add the grated cheese, salt, pepper and rosemary and give it a final mix.
Chop the cooked chicken and bacon into bite-sized pieces and add this to the pan of sauce along with the onion. Give it all a good mix so the sauce it coating everything. Tip your filling into an oven proof dish, then you can put the lid on.
Roll your pastry out to about 5mm thick, so it’s big enough to cover the top of your dish. Carefully lay the pastry over your filling, trying not to trap any air underneath. Press down firmly around the edges and trim off any excess. You can crimp the edges with a fork if you like, but remember to poke a small hole in the middle of the lid to let any steam out – you don’t want soggy pastry!
Brush the beaten egg all over the top and bake in the oven for 40 minutes until golden and the pastry has puffed up nicely.