- 1.4kg chicken
Chicken's many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it…
- 1 each carrot, onion and celery stick
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 50g butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 2 leeks sliced
Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…
- 2 tbsp plain flour
Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…
- grated zest 1 lemon
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
- large bunch parsley chopped
One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…
- 3 tbsp crème fraîche
- 250g ready-made puff pastry
- beaten egg or milk, to glaze
The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…
- bouquet garni (see 'Try', below)
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Put the chicken in a pan, which is large enough to take it snugly. Roughly chop the carrot, onion and celery and tuck around the chicken with the bouquet garni. Pour in enough water to come just over halfway up the chicken, then season with salt and pepper.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover tightly and simmer gently for 1-1¼ hrs, until the chicken is well cooked. Carefully lift the chicken out onto a board lined with kitchen paper to absorb any stock that leaks out. Then strain the stock, discarding the veggies, and measure 500ml into a jug – any extra you can cool and freeze for another time.
Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Strip the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Cut the meat into large chunks and put into a 1-litre pie dish.
Melt the butter in a pan, add the leeks and fry until starting to soften. Sift in the flour and cook for 1 min. Gradually stir in the stock, cooking until the sauce is smooth and glossy. Take off the heat and add lemon, parsley and crème fraîche. Season. Pour the sauce over the chicken and leave to cool.
Roll out the pastry and trim to 5cm larger than the pie dish. Brush the edge of the dish with water. Lay the pastry on the pie, tucking the edges under to make a double layer around the rim. Press the pastry edge to seal it. Roll out any trimmings to make leaves for the top. Brush the pastry with milk or egg and bake for 30-35 mins until the pastry is golden.
How to make a bouquet garni
You can buy bouquet garni sachets alongside the dried herbs in the supermarket and they are perfectly fine to use. But if you have some herbs in your garden gather a sprig each of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, bay and parsley and tie into a bundle with kitchen string.