Ahhhh January. Drab, dull and for many of my friends, colleagues and, it seems most of the nation, now dry. January arrives after the jolly festivities and frivolities of December like an unwanted guest arriving as the party is ending.
Frankly, hedgehogs have it right. We all ought to hibernate throughout these thirty one days. I most definitely have enough 'fat reserves' from Christmas to keep me going until March. But, in the event you aren't a cute but prickly little creature, I have the answer: pie.
Beko are promoting their unique Freezer Guard technology, which allows you to store your freezer in a garage or any other unheated room and your appliance will continue to work at temperatures as low as -15°C or 5°F. As part of this campaign they are asking bloggers for freezer-friendly recipes. Such as this glorious, January-busting pie packed full of cockles-of-your-heart-warming loveliness.
Chicken, Bacon and Mushroom Winter Warmer Pie
1 tbsp oil
4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
8 rashers smoky bacon
1 onion, sliced
225g leeks, sliced
250g pack baby button mushrooms
2 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tbsp water
400ml chicken stock
200ml milk (plus a tsp for brushing)
225g carrots, cut into thin slices
1 heaped tbsp chopped flat-leaf or curly parsley
500g puff pastry
1. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan.
2. Fry the chicken on a medium heat until golden brown, turning occasionally. Lift the chicken onto a plate and set aside. Tip the bacon into the pan. Fry for 5 mins until crisp. Add the onion, leeks mushrooms and fry on a high heat for another few minutes until the onions start to colour.
3. Add the flour mixture to the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 min. With the pan off the heat, gradually whisk in the stock, followed by the milk, then add the chicken back to the pan. Add in the carrots and parsley
4. Place the pan back on the heat and bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 mins.
5. Spoon the filling into your pie dish. Leave aside to cool while preparing the pastry
6. Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas mark 7
7. On a floured surface, roll the pastry to the thickness of two £1 coins. Lift the pastry over the pie, using the rolling pin to assist. Brush lightly with a tsp of milk and bake for thirty minutes or until the pastry is golden brown
- This recipe is inspired by BBC Good Food
- To freeze: simply make up the pie and freeze until ready to bake
- What foodie delights get you through January?
With thanks to Beko, who sent vouchers to cover the cost of ingredients for this pie