Half a leftover chicken in the fridge. Half a leftover bottle of red wine in the kitchen [no idea how that happened, must have been a guest]. There are also mushrooms, shallots and bacon lardons in the house. The stage seems set for a Coq au Vin, but I’m in the mood for a pie, so it’s time for the best of both worlds. Anyway, what is a pie if not a casserole in a pastry coat? Or a casserole if not an exhibitionist pie?
More than enough for two
- 8 shallots
- 120g button mushrooms
- 70g pancetta or bacon lardons
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 300ml red wine
- 50ml brandy
- 300ml chicken stock
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- A dash of Worcestershire sauce
- 150g leftover chicken, torn and / or diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 sheet ready-made puff pastry
Slowly fry the lardons over a low heat until browned. Turn the heat up a notch and colour the shallots and mushrooms in the fat from the lardons. Add the garlic towards the end and soften without colouring. Pour in the brandy and reduce until almost gone, then do the same with 50ml of the wine. Tip in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring. Introduce the rest of the wine, the chicken stock, and the Worcestershire sauce, stir well and simmer for around 10 minutes. Then in with the lardons and chicken and give them a couple of minutes to warm through. Check and adjust seasoning.
You can now leave this until needed or go straight to the pie stage, for which…
Top with the puff pastry using any trimmings to make decorations of your choice – whatever I try usually ends up looking like leaves, so I usually go straight for leaves. Brush with beaten egg or milk and pop into a 220 degree oven for 25 minutes. This should give you lovely risen golden pastry but the innards will be piping hot so give it a minute or two to calm down before serving.