Since at the moment neither of us are working, and we are both a bit unhappy about it, there is quite a lot of emotional over-eating at out house at the moment. This really is a Kummerspeck pie.
It's essentially the Hairy Bikers' Creamy Chicken, Ham & Leek Pie, but with a couple of pretty important variations.
Firstly, we used a whole chicken instead of chicken breasts. A fresh, free-range chicken is about £5/kg. Free-range breast fillets are about £17/kg. Stripping the meat off a whole chicken means you get lovely dark meat as well, for more flavour in the pie. Poaching a whole chicken also gives you loads of extra broth, to make another meal from plus leftover meat for a sandwich. Thrifty is good. So obviously we had to adjust the amount of liquid and the poaching time.
Also, instead of using 250ml of reserved chicken stock and 200ml of milk, we used 450ml of stock. With 150ml of double cream, the sauce really doesn't need extra creaminess! And we used a slightly higher ratio of flour to butter and didn't add the egg to the pastry.
Utterly delicious, but so rich! Definitely an occasional treat, even when comfort-eating.
With the leftover broth, I made a version of Nicky's butternut and chickpea pilaf, topped with halloumi. I used apricots instead of sultanas, and added a couple of chopped preserved lemons at the end. I didn't have the patience to let my halloumi slices take colour the way she did! Very simple, very delicious, and made 2 meals for each of us (as well as getting 6 portions out of the chicken pie). As I said, thrifty is good!