It's quick and easy to prepare but delivers on flavour and comfort-food credentials. I can admit to never making my own puff pastry, instead I rely on shop-bought, and for this kind of meal it is utterly perfect. I only add a pastry lid too rather than all round the pie, to keep the calorie count down a bit.
Also I use dried tarragon rather than fresh, which always goes so well with chicken and adds a lovely, slightly aniseed element.
Whilst it's a thick and creamy centre, this is created by making a quick roux, rather than the addition of any cream and I serve simply with vegetables and perhaps a sweet jacket potato - all very low rent.
This serves 3-4 people.
200g leftover chicken
1 red onion
200g mushrooms (I used Chestnut as I had them in the fridge, but you can use any combination)
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp white wine (I used Pinot Grigio as it was open in the fridge - but use what you have in stock - also a splash of either sherry or brandy would work as well)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
1/2 pint milk
1 tbsp tarragon (I use dried)
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
Sheet of puff pastry
1 tbsp milk
Firstly pre-heat the oven to 180-200.
Slice the red onions and mushrooms and crush the garlic. Add the onions and garlic to a pan with a drizzle of olive oil on a low heat and allow to soften. Add the mushrooms and the wine, sherry or brandy and cook until the alcohol has cooked off and then remove from the heat.
Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, or shred if easier and add to the pan with the onions and mushrooms.
In a different pan add the butter on a low heat and allow to completely melt. Add the flour a little at a time and stir continually with a wooden spoon, keep adding more until it's all combined and then slowly add the milk in the same method, stirring all the time. Add the salt, pepper and tarragon and keep cooking on a low heat for ten minutes or until the sauce has thickened. This is your roux.
Transfer the chicken, mushrooms and onion mixture to the roux, stir through to combine and then transfer the mixture to your preferred pie dish or other oven-proof dish.
Place the pastry over the top, then cut off the excess around the edges. Crimp the sides any way you prefer and then brush the 1 tbsp milk over with a pastry brush. Finally with a knife, cut in a couple of slits in the top, to allow the steam to rise through the pastry during cooking.
Place into the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is nicely golden. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for a few minutes as the centre will be piping hot. Then serve with your preferred accompaniments and enjoy!