When it gets to the end of the month, you’re skint and you have some leftover cooked chicken and some old veg in the fridge. Dinner choices are quite few. The answer for me, is always to make a pie. And why not? They’re cheap to make, a sneaky and delicious way to eat your five a day and you can make them ahead of time. I’m a huge pie fan.
And it’s incredibly easy to make a brilliant pie, using ready rolled pastry (or your own, if you’re being really frugal!) and whatever’s in your fridge.
Make the filling. I used:
- 2 chopped chicken breasts
- some dried mixed mushrooms, soaked
- 1 carrot, cubed
- handful of sliced fresh mushrooms
- some frozen peas
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- splash of double cream
- chicken stock
- half a bag of fresh spinach
- 1 500g block puff pastry, defrosted
Fry the chicken in a saucepan for a minute or so. Then add the carrots. After a minute or so, add enough chicken stock to cover the ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes depending on how big your carrot pieces are. You want them to be getting soft.
Add the dried mushrooms and the strained liquor, then add the fresh mushrooms. After another minute or so, add the spinach.
Once wilted, add a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard, seasoning and a splash of double cream to thicken. Simmer till thickened. You don’t want your sauce too thin, or your pastry will be soggy.
Add a teaspoon of cornflour mixed with water if need be, but you should be able to reduce the sauce to the correct thickness by simmering.
Lastly, add the frozen peas, then leave to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, roll out some ready made puff pastry thinly and line a pie dish. I used a disposable pie dish (saves on the washing up!). Make sure you roll out enough for the lid. And if you have some extra, cut out some stars!
Fill your pie dish with the filling, using a slotted spoon so you don’t get too much sauce. Fill the pie right to the top and pack it down with the back of a spoon. No one likes an empty pie.
Lay the lid on top and seal around the edges with egg wash. Snip a hole into the top to allow steam to escape and decorate by sticking the stars on with the egg wash. Brush the pie all over with the egg wash.
Put into an oven at 180c for approximtely 30 minutes until brown.
Serve with white gravy made from the remainder of the pie sauce – or if you have enough, just the sauce would be good.