SPRING CHICKEN PIE WITH LEEKS AND FENNEL

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - ANNABEL LANGBEIN -

Ready in 1 hour, 30 mins Serves 8

1kg bone­less chicken thighs

3 Tbsp but­ter

2 large leeks, white part only, washed and thinly sliced

2 heads fennel, thinly sliced

½ cup ver­mouth or white wine

2 Tbsp thyme leaves 2 Tbsp whole­grain mus­tard ¼ cup corn­flour

1 cup cream Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp salt ground black pep­per, to taste

1 cup peas, fresh or frozen

4 spring onions, very finely chopped

1 cup flat-leaf pars­ley, finely chopped

2 sheets flaky pas­try

1 egg yolk beaten with

2 Tbsp wa­ter or milk, to glaze

Trim vis­i­ble fat from chicken and cut flesh into 2cm pieces. Set aside. Melt but­ter in a large pot and cook leeks and fennel over a gen­tle heat un­til soft­ened but not brown (about 10 min­utes). Add ver­mouth or wine and cook un­til evap­o­rated. Add thyme and mus­tard and bring to a sim­mer. Mix corn­flour to a smooth paste with the cream. Add to pot and stir over heat un­til lightly thick­ened. Mix in lemon juice and zest and sea­son with salt and pep­per. (The sauce can be pre­pared ahead to this point and chilled.) About an hour be­fore serv­ing, mix the chicken, peas, spring onions and pars­ley through the sauce. Heat oven to 200C fan­bake. Trans­fer fill­ing to a 3-litre ca­pac­ity bak­ing dish, form a ring of pas­try around the edge then stack the pas­try sheets and roll them out to fit the top of the dish. Brush the pas­try edge with a lit­tle egg wash then fit the pas­try lid on top and press firmly to seal. Dec­o­rate with cut-outs of left­over pas­try and brush all over with egg wash. Cut a few holes in the top to al­low steam to es­cape. Bake in pre­heated oven un­til puffed and lightly golden (about 12 min­utes), then re­duce heat to 180C fan­bake and cook for 30 min­utes un­til golden.

Annabel says: Ac­com­pany with roasted beet­root and baby car­rots, or al­ter­na­tively mashed potato and lightly cooked broc­coli. This pie also works well with rab­bit. De-bone and cut into pieces us­ing the same weight as chicken.

SPRING CHICKEN PIE WITH LEEKS AND FENNEL

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