Your tummy is in need of tlc (it told me!)
The most romantic day of the year is fast approaching and for once it actually falls on a weekend – hurrah. If dinner á deux has you feeling uninspired and you loath to join the hordes of other couples seated at tables, or you simply can’t face knocking knees at yet another cocktail bar, then look no further. Ultimately, nothing says I love you more than surprising your significant other with a steaming, nutritious and delicious plate of food. Pies are synonymous with amorousness because they warm the cockles of your heart. Test the theory for yourself by cooking up your own culinary love storm. Simples.
Now that it’s nearly time to get the bubbles on ice…do you really need any more convincing?
Creamy chicken, bacon and mushroom pot pies
Serves 4 (simply freeze the remaining two for another night)
Prep 10 minutes, plus cooling
Cook 40 minutes
1 medium leek, trimmed and sliced
1 tbsp plain flour
250g cooked chicken breast, cubed or shredded
150g bacon lardons
150g mushrooms, sliced
200ml cold chicken stock
75ml white wine
100g Total greek yoghurt or creme fraiche
a handful of thyme and parsley leaves, chopped
1 x 375g ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
1 medium egg, lightly whisked for brushing
1. Heat a small amount of oil in a large pan, and cook the bacon for a few minutes, until starting to crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, then add the mushroom and leeks to the same pan and fry for 5 -10 minutes until cooked. (add some more oil or a knob of butter if needed)
2. Return the bacon to the pan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then add the stock, white wine and herbs. Season, and simmer for a few minutes. Allow to cool, then stir in the yoghurt and cooked chicken.
3. Preheat the oven to 200C, fan 180C, gas 6. Divide the chicken mix between four pie dishes (about 250ml capacity), lay out the pastry and cut out four pastry lids that will comfortably fit your dishes, reserving the trimmings. Brush the edges of each pie dish with some beaten egg, then cover with the pastry rounds and decorate the pies if you wish. Make a small hole in the centre for steam to escape, then brush all over with more egg.
4. Place the pies on a baking tray and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden.