As I mentioned yesterday, I would write a whole piece for this warming piece of comfort food.
To make the bechamel i used this recipe from the good ‘ol Beeb, and then I was off.
Whilst eating food with my parents on the Monday night I placed two chicken breasts, foiled in a dish and put it in the oven whilst my mam made food.
So, as soon as I was in from work – uniform still on (washed hands, obviously 😉 ) – I started on the Bechamel, once that had been made I fried off a packet of smoked lardons until they rendered down, oozing out their gorgeous fat. Into the smokey oil I placed a whole onion, chopped and fried until translucent. Once this had been done, I poured the white sauce into the big pan and added a generous spoonful or two of Dijon mustard and a handful of chopped fresh thyme leaves.
The chicken by this point had been cooked and was cool enough to handle, so I flaked it up into chunks and put it into the smokey white sauce, not forgetting to put with it, two bay leaves and a heavy dose of cracked black pepper- you can never have enough in my book 😉
After cooking it out, until the flavours had melded I spooned the filling into two vessels – some cute cocottes for the meal with Tom, and a bigger Le Creuset Dutch oven, for a family pie – fishing out the bay leaves, of course.
Leave it to cool overnight, preferably
The next day when the Mr was back I rolled out some ready-made puff pastry (seriously, no one has time to make it these days, not even chefs) and made the lids for the now chilled pie fillings – I put a T and an N on the cocottes to make it seem even cuter- he loved it!
Here they are:
All it needed was an egg & milk wash and to be put in a preheated oven at 190c (fan) until golden brown.
I was pondering whether to serve them with mash and veg, or pub style with chips.
Tom decided on pub style, so we had them with chip shop chips, peas and a Hornsea pot full of steaming hot gravy, mmm!
As we had a surplus of pastry left I decided to make something off the cuff – but it really worked.
Rolling them out to circles about 3mm thick, I got out the jar of Nutella and organic peanut butter and got busy.
Putting half a spoonful of each in the middle of each circle, then fold it over and seal with an egg wash and make little parcels, like sweet pasties or empanadas.
I wanted to serve these with a dip of some kind so I mixed a bit of Malina – a Polish raspberry syrup – a spoonful of Nutella and some milk and mixed. I didn’t think it would work, but it all came together to a nice dipping sauce. I served them with some fresh strawberries along side the parcels. The night was so good!