I have to confess I didn’t own the Hairy Bikers Perfect Pies cookbook when I started this blog. Using my recipe books more has rekindled my interest in cooking so my cookbook collection has grown… Aidan is a big fan of the Hairy Bikers cookery programmes and we all like pies so when I saw this book on offer I succumbed The Hairy Bikers’ Perfect Pies: The Ultimate Pie Bible from the Kings of Pies.
I had a chicken and a pack of filo pastry to use up in the fridge so opted for Justine’s Chicken and Tarragon pie. Using creme fraiche and filo pastry made this quick to make up, if you buy a ready roasted chicken it would be really quick to make. (I decided to boil my chicken and get some stock out of it as well.)
The conclusion was favourable, the filo pastry topping was very popular and the family felt the pie made a nice change. We agreed it didn’t compete with the Avoca cafe chicken and broccoli gratin but that takes more time to make so isn’t a weekday dinner option. I made this pie up in a pyrex casserole, I felt the filling could have done with more time to warm in the oven as it was not bubbling however the pastry was sufficiently browned and would have over cooked. Since the filo pastry was so popular next time I will make it in a lasagne dish so the layer of filling will be half the depth and use a whole pack of filo pastry for the topping. I don’t have any pie dishes, maybe I need to get some.
- Small knob of butter
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 150ml white wine
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 1kg whole cooked chicken (you can buy a ready-roasted one from your butcher or use 550g cooked chicken meat instead)
- 400ml crème fraiche
- 2 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- Flaked sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1.5 litre pie dish
For the filo topping
- 40g butter, melted
- 4 filo pastry sheets
- Melt the butter with the oil in a large frying pan over a low heat, then add the onion and the crushed garlic. Fry gently for 5–6 minutes until the onion is softened, but not coloured, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the white wine, then crumble the stock cube into the pan and stir well until it dissolves. Simmer over a high heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid has reduced by half and thickened. Remove from the heat.
- Take the skin off the chicken, then strip the meat from the bones and tear it into bite-sized pieces. Place these in a large bowl. Add the onion and garlic mixture and spoon the crème fraiche on top. Scatter over the tarragon, sprinkle the flour on top and season with a good pinch of sea salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Toss everything together until just combined, then spoon into your pie dish. Preheat the oven to 210°C/420°F/Gas Mark 6½.
- Now for the topping. Brush a sheet of filo pastry with melted butter and cut it into 6. Scrunch up each portion with your hands and place it on top of the filling. Repeat with the remaining sheets of filo until the filling is completely covered.
- Bake the pie in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes or until the filo pastry topping is crisp and golden brown and the filling is bubbling beautifully.