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Put the chicken, quartered onion, carrot chunks, ginger, garlic and herb stalks in a large stock pot. Cover the chicken completely with water, bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat, cover and cook gently for 1 hr. Turn the chicken over halfway through cooking and top up the water if you need to. After 1 hr the chicken should be tender – try pulling a leg away from the breast with some tongs. If there’s much resistance, keep cooking, checking every 10 mins or so. Carefully remove the chicken from the cooking liquid and leave to cool on a plate for about 10 mins.
Shred the chicken meat and discard the fat and bones. Strain the cooking liquid (this is your stock) and discard the onions, carrots and other bits (or keep them to make soup). Measure out 500ml of the stock.
Melt the butter in a pan (use the stock pan if it’s empty – you don’t need to wash it). Add a drizzle of oil and the chopped onion and carrot. Cook until the veg is soft, for about 8-10 mins. Stir in the flour, curry paste and turmeric, then crumble in the stock cube. As you stir, the ingredients will clump together. Keep cooking for a min or so, then add a ladleful of the chicken cooking liquid. Stir well until smooth, then add another ladleful. Continue until all of the stock has been used up and you have a smooth sauce.
Stir the chicken, cream and chopped herbs into the sauce, then season well and remove from the heat. If freezing portions at this stage, transfer to a sealable container or bag, cool, then freeze for up to two months. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge before reheating in a pan or the microwave. See tips below for serving suggestions.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Transfer the creamy curried chicken to a pie dish, about 25 x 5cm. Brush 6 sheets filo pastry with a little melted butter or oil and scrunch the sheets on top of the pie, covering the filling. Bake the pie for about 45-50 mins, until the top is crisp and the curried chicken is bubbling and hot. Serve with Tenderstem broccoli, if you like.
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