Chicken pot pie is one of those dishes that reminds me of home. Not only because it’s comfort food but it also brings me back to my memories of a childhood when my mum brought us to Dome restaurant to devour in delicious pot pies. But this recipe in particular is inspired by What’s in my fridge?
That’s right – it’s that time of the month where payday is just a week away and my bank account is looking lonelier than Akon’s lonely song. But fact is, I actually don’t mind being faced with leftover ingredients in my fridge. You get a chance to think of a way to tie all of these ingredients together – it’s the pinnacle of creativity really!
I started off having chicken thighs, leeks and celery. From there, I had some fresh herbs – dill and coriander. Not your usual mix of herbs but when you’re making a one-pot-wonder then you can hardly go wrong with a mixture of fresh herbs. Then I added corn kernels, from a can in the pantry, and some capers that were hiding out in the back shelf of the fridge. Plus, instead of making the usual pastry rounds (like your conventional pie), I made some pastry pillows so there’s no pastry wastage that you usually get when you cut them in rounds.
So you see, there is always room for creativity in your cooking – even on fridge leftover day and when you’re waiting for that next pay check!
TIP: When you are cooking ingredients in different batches (e.g- First, cook the chicken then set aside. Then cook the leeks then side aside), each individual element should be seasoned with salt and pepper. Don’t expect your dish to magically come together at the very end and taste amazing. You want to highlight and bring our all those lovely flavours from each ingredient, and seasoning will help bring that out. So remember: When cooking in separate batches, season all your elements individually. You can find more cooking technique tips here.
- CHICKEN FILLING
- 1½ tablespoon olive oil
- 600g chicken thigh fillets (approx 2 pieces), chopped into cubes
- 2 leeks (whites only), chopped finely
- 4 celery stalks, roughly chopped into 5cent pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 2 shallots, chopped finely
- 250g corn kernels
- ½ cup of sweet white wine (or any kind of white wine. I used a moscato and it added sweetness to the dish)
- 2 teaspoons cornflour
- ½ cup dill, chopped roughly
- ¼ cup coriander, chopped roughly
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 tsp of capers
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- PASTRY SQUARES
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, partially thawed
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp of sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan-forced.
- Heat oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until browned. Season with 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp ground pepper. Once completely sealed, remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add ½ tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic, leeks and shallots and cook stirring until softened, approx 5 minutes over low-medium heat. Season with ½ tsp of salt.
- Once the leek mixture has softened, add the chicken back in the pan and then add wine, coriander, dill and bay leaves. Bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce back down to simmer.
- Meanwhile, line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut 4 squares from pastry square. Place pastry squares on prepared tray. Brush pastry with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 10 minutes or until pastry is golden and puffed.
- Place cornflour in a jug. Add 2 tablespoons stock. Stir until smooth. Stir in remaining stock. Add stock mixture to pan. Bring to the boil then when it reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium. Add celery, corn kernels, capers and leftover egg mixture (from pastry). Simmer for 5-10 minutes on low heat or until until all flavours are infused (after tasting). Season with salt and pepper if required. Spoon chicken mixture into 4 dishes. Top with pastry squares. Serve.