This is a fairly traditional pie, old-fashioned even, but delicious, creamy and rich, and perfect with simply dressed salad greens.
6 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
Freshly ground pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 litre chicken stock, hot
1 small (or ½ larger) brown onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 leeks, finely sliced
450g large pine or field mushrooms, carefully cleaned, finely diced
3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
40g plain flour
2 tbsp double cream
2 tsp heaped dijon mustard
1 handful flatleaf parsley, chopped
2 handfuls frozen peas
1 thick piece (about 375g) puff pastry
1 egg, whisked
1. Season the chicken thighs and brown, skin-side down, in a little oil in a large pan over medium heat — about 8 minutes. Flip over and add the hot stock. Simmer gently for 25 minutes or until the thighs are cooked.
2. Remove the cooked chicken and strain the stock. Skim off most of the fat from the stock (you can cool it first, if you like, making it easier to lift the fat from the top). Return the stock to the stove and reduce to about 400 millilitres.
3. For the filling, add about 50 millilitres of oil to a frying pan and cook the onion, garlic and leeks for about 10 minutes over a slow heat to caramelise and soften.
4. Add 25 grams of the butter, the mushrooms and the thyme and cook for a further 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees fan-forced or 210 degrees conventional.
6. In a medium pot, melt 40 grams of butter over a medium heat until starting to sizzle, add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook for 1 minute, stirring all the time, then add the strained stock. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes at a simmer, whisking constantly — it should be smooth and thick.
7. Take the sauce off the heat and leave to cool a little. Whisk in the cream and mustard, and add the mushroom mix, parsley and peas. Tear or chop the chicken and add to the mix. Combine thoroughly, and check and adjust the seasoning — the mix will be quite thick but luscious.
8. Cut the pastry sheet three centimetres larger than your pie dish to make a pastry pie lid. Brush the edge of the dish with the egg, tip the filling in and drop the lid on, crimping to seal. Decorate with the pastry scraps. Make an incision in the top to release steam and brush with egg. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and puffed.