It’s here…you can feel it can’t you? Darker mornings, shorter evenings – that nip in the air that tells you that it’s well and truly Autumn! Although I adore the summer, Autumn is officially my absolute favourite time of year! It’s something about the anticipation for the first fire you’ll light, or the first need to pull on your chunky knit jumpers and wear your fluffy socks at night time.
Hot chocolate, soups and thoughts of comfort foods abound! Fresh produce is also still abundant at this time of year with the pumpkins, squash, root veggies and greens all vying for your attention to tuck into their nutritious offerings! In our house, autumn officially starts when I make the first Chicken Pot Pie since springtime! There’s a comforting ritual to making it and eating it and there’s something else too. For when you say the magic words “Chicken Pot Pie” you have to say it like you’re from the deep south of the USA and as though you are remembering the way “mama usda make it”. It’s the law. Not really, more a tradition. This time of year is good for remembering traditions!
Ingredients (serves 4):
- One skinless, boneless chicken breast per person plus one extra. For this to serve 4 people then we need 5 chicken breasts.
- 1 small white onion
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 sticks of celery, diced
- handful of celery tops if you have them to hand
- 1 sweet red peppper
- 2 bay leaves
- handful of flat leaf parsley
- handful of thyme
- couple of sprigs of fresh tarragon
- 500ml chicken stock
- 2tbsp sour cream
- squeeze of lemon juice
- ready made and rolled puff pastry
- Put the oven on at 200 degress celsius.
- Heat apx 2 tbsp of olive oil in an oven proof casserole dish (everything with be cooked in this).
- Add in the chopped onion, garlic and celery and add the bay leaves.
- When these have softened add in the diced carrot and stir.
- Add in the chicken breasts (cut into chunks). Cook through ensuring some colour gets on the chicken.
- Add in the pepper, celery tops, parsley tarragon and thyme. Stir altogether.
- Once the chicken has cooked, add in the chicken stock. Cover with the lid and cook for aox 15 mins until the carrots are soft.
- Uncover and add in the sour cream, squeeze of lemon and plenty of black pepper. Check for salt and adjust to taste.
- Dust the worksurface lightly with flour and take out the puff pastry (obviously make sure its defrosted!!)
- Lightly roll it out so that it will fit over your casserole dish with a bit to spare.
- Check the pie filling. If all the stock has gone add in a little more water to make sure everything stays moist.
- When the oven is ready, place the puff pastry over the pie filling mix and tuck it in inside the casserole dish. This will make sure all the air stays underneath and keeps the pie filling moist so the chicken doesn’t dry out.
- Wash the pastry with a beaten egg and place in the oven until the pastry is puffed, golden and crispy.
- Serve up along with seasonal boiled potatoes all fluffy and add black pepper and butter. Serve up with some seasonal greens like kale or chard.