I was in borough market the other day and as I can never make up my mind I spent about 20mins going from food stall to food stall trying to decide what I wanted to eat. It was freezing so I wanted complete comfort food. Finally I decided on a chicken pie and dammm it was good! I wanted another one. But I was supposed to be cooking dinner for a friend later on so to fulfill my moreish pie needs I decided to make my own. My friend is also completely intolerant to dairy and as I imagine it’s probably close to impossible to buy dairy free pie I thought I would make her a dairy free version as this is something she should not be missing out on!
While cooking I was busy chatting with my friend not paying too much attention to what I was actually doing. I was almost sure that this wasn’t going to end up the best pie in the world and apologized in advance. But completely singing my own praises once it came out of the oven all golden and flaky and I took a bite, I have to say this pie was GOOD. It just hit that cold weather comfort food spot.
Now this isn’t the quickest recipe to do, but it’s not much more work, and the results are definitely worth the effort! Pre-made puff pastry makes life much easier and who doesn’t like that wonderful buttery flakiness. The great thing for the dairy intolerant is that a lot of the puff pastry is made without milk, so it’s the one pastry that you can indulge in, though do check the ingredients. For those of you who don’t have to miss out on dairy you can also get butter puff pastry if you prefer.
Chicken, Mushroom and Spinach Pie
3 skinless boneless chicken thighs, diced
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
500ml / 2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp cold water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp mustard
bunch of thyme
salt & pepper
250g puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Chop the chicken into large chunks, dice the onions, chop the mushrooms into quarters, mince the garlic.
On the hob:
Add the olive oil to a large frying pan on a high heat. Cook the chicken until browned. Remove and add to an overproof pie dish. Turn down to a low-medium heat and add the onions. Cook for 5mins until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a minute before adding the stock.
Mix 1 tbsp cornflour with 2 tbsps of cold water into a smooth paste. Add to the stock and turn up the heat. Stir the stock, as it starts to boil it should start to thicken. Turn to a low heat and simmer for 5mins. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, mustard and lots of thyme. Finally add the spinach to the pan and cook until wilted down. Spoon the spinach and mushrooms into the pie dish and mix.
Make the pie:
On a floured surface roll out the puff pastry until about the thickness of a £1 coin or to make life easier use pre rolled pastry sheets. Whisk the egg up and brush onto the edges of the pie dish, lay the puff pastry on top and press into the edge of the dish. Trim off any excess pastry. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg and cut a couple of holes in the top for steam vents.
Cook in the oven for about 20mins until the pastry turns golden brown.