I cycle to work a few times a week. While I do realise cycling in London is a bloomin' risky business, I calculate that each cycle = one cake. Yes, I fully appreciate my dietary plan isn't going to give the executives at Weight Watchers sleepless nights. But it works for me.
Now, while I'm no meteorologist, I do have A-Level Geography (but that was mainly two years covering Brazil. In much depth. I'm no idea why either. I still don't know where Staffordshire is, but I can tell you the population of Brazil's third city*). And, to me, London suffered from some major hurricanes/tornadoes (whichever is worse) and torrential rain during my cycle this morning. I arrived in work blown to pieces and soaked through. Drowned rats would have taken pity on me and offered me shelter.
So to distract my increasingly grumpy thoughts as I battled with gale force winds (I might be slightly prone to exaggeration if you haven't yet noticed) I planned tea. Something comforting. Warming. Tasty.
And I remembered a back issue of Good Food Magazine (January 2011) featured an easy chicken pie.
So, adapting the recipe somewhat, this is what we had for tea tonight:
450ml chicken stock
100ml white wine (or make up with extra stock)
2 chopped garlic cloves
a good couple of pinches of thyme (or 3 fresh sprigs)
225g carrot batons
4 skinless turkey (or chicken) breasts
4 mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tbsp water
3 tbsp creme fraiche
1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
1 heaped tbsp flat leaf parsley
70g filo pastry
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1. Pour the stock (and wine if using) into a large, wide frying pan.
2. Add the garlic, thyme, tarragon sprig and carrots, bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for 3 mins.
3. Lay the turkey in the stock, season, cover and simmer for 5 mins.
4. Scatter the leek slices and mushrooms over the turkey, cover again then gently simmer for 10 more mins (you've got your vegetables steaming while the turkey cooks. Very clever. )
5. Remove from the heat and let the turkey sit in the stock for about 15 mins, so it keeps moist while cooling slightly.
6. Strain the stock into a jug - you should have 500ml (if not, make up with water).
7. Tip the turkey and veg into a 1.5 litre pie dish and discard the herb sprigs.
8. Pour the stock back into the sauté pan, then slowly pour in the cornflour mix.
9. Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until thickened.
10. Remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraîche, mustard, chopped tarragon and parsley. Season with pepper.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
11. Cut the turkey into shreds, pour the sauce over the turkey and veg and stir all together
12. Cut each filo sheet (I used 3-4 sheets) into squares or rectangles, depending on the shape of your pie dish. Layer them, one at a time on the top of the pie, brushing each sheet very lightly with the oil as you go and tucking the sheets into the sides of the dish
13. Grind over a little pepper and pop in the oven for 20-25 min. I found, in our fan assisted oven it took about 18 minutes. You are looking for the pastry to be all golden and crispy, the sauce bubbling at the sides.
Lovely. And also rather healthy too, according to the nutritious information provided in the recipe.
*Salvador. Population = 2676606.