Even the word pie is comforting. But then, it would be hard to deny the very real lure of pastry, especially when — as here — you know you’re going to dunk it in gravied juices till its gorgeous lightness is deliciously, soggily heavy. I concede, however, that making and rolling out your own pastry is not necessarily the speediest option, so I use bought, all-butter ready-rolled frozen puff pastry and feel fine about it.
I make the pie even easier, by browning the chicken and making the sauce all in one go. And a gold-crusted, welcoming pie for two in half an hour is not bad going.
- 3 slices bacon, cut or scissored into 1-inch strips
- 1 teaspoon garlic-infused oil
- 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each cut into 2- or 3-inch pieces
- 2½ tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1¼ cups hot chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon Marsala wine
- Half a 17.2 oz package (one 9½ x 9½-inch sheet) thawed all butter ready-rolled frozen puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Fry the bacon strips in the oil until they begin to crisp, then add the sliced mushrooms and soften them in the pan with the bacon.
Turn the chicken strips in the flour and thyme (you could toss them about in a freezer bag), and then melt the butter in the pan before adding the floury chicken and all the flour left in the bag. Stir around with the bacon and mushrooms until the chicken begins to color, about 25 minutes.
Pour in the hot stock and Marsala, stirring to form a sauce, and let this bubble away for about 5 minutes.
Take two 1¼ cup pie-pots (if yours are deeper, don’t worry, there will simply be more space between contents and puff pastry top) and make a pastry rim for each one – by this I mean an approx. ½-inch strip curled around the top of each pot. Dampen the edges with a little water to make the pastry stick.
Cut a circle bigger than the top of each pie-pot for the lid, and then divide the chicken filling between the two.
Dampen the edges again and then pop on the top of each pie, sealing the edges with your fingers or the underneath of the prongs of a fork.
Cook the pies for about 20 minutes, turning them around halfway through cooking. Once cooked, they should puff up magnificently.