This pie is all about compromise.
(I am also aware that it's a picture of only half a pie in the early evening sunlight but I'm not really in the habit of taking pictures of our meals and I think you can imagine what this would look like when it's covered in pastry. If you can't, I instagram'd a picture of it.)
"Is there anything in particular you wanted to cook this weekend? Like a homemade chicken pie?"
I took this for the hint that it undeniably was.
I've learnt a lot about compromise since my boyfriend moved in. Before then, I'd lived by myself for a couple of years and has got very set in my ways. All of a sudden, I had to share the remote control with another person. I always thought that I made compromises in previous relationships (hence my encyclopaedic knowledge of Star Trek: Voyager) but I realise now that those weren't real compromises. I was doing all of the compromising. In the end, I lost sight of who I really was.
I think I've leant that real compromise goes two ways. Sometimes I don't get my own way, it's true. But sometimes my boyfriend doesn't get his way. For someone like me, who would do anything to make other people happy, that's often harder to deal with than when I don't get my way. But I have to learn to do it because that's what forms the basis of a strong relationship.
All of which is really just a long way to say that I made a chicken pie for my boy because he wanted me to. But I put leeks in there because I wanted to. It was a compromise. A delicious compromise.
Chicken and leek pie
Adapted from a Channel 4 recipeYield: Serves 4
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped finely
- 1 large leek, chopped
- 4 carrots chopped into chunks
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 400g chicken (I used breast chunks)
- 125ml dry white wine
- 200ml chicken stock
- 170ml double/heavy cream
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- 375g puff pastry
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion, leeks, carrots and thyme and fry until softened. Add the chicken and brown the meat.
- When the chicken is cooked, add the wine and reduce by half. Add the stock and continue to simmer until reduced by half again.
- Pour in the cream and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Season with salt and pepper as required (I like a lot of pepper, it doesn't really need salt because of the stock).
- To make the pie, pour the filling into a dish, brush the sides of the dish with beaten egg and cover with a large piece of puff pastry. You might, as I did, have to roll out your pastry so you get a thin piece that's big enough to cover the dish. Press down the sides of the pastry to seal and trim any excess. Make a small slit in the pastry to allow the steam to escape. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Brush the pastry with the rest of the beaten egg and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown.