medium onion – peeled and chopped
clove garlic – peeled and finely chopped
leeks – trimmed and finely sliced
boiled potatoes – peeled and diced
puff pastry sheets
1 beaten egg mixed with a little milk
spring onion – sliced lengthways into 4 pieces
mixed leaf salad
1 x 1.5kg
small onion – peeled and chopped
fresh bay leaves
sprigs fresh thyme
sprig flat-leaf parsley
extra-virgin olive oil
- To roast the chicken, stuff the cavity of the bird with the onion and herbs, then season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the chicken with a little olive oil and roast in a preheated oven at 190C for 1¼ hours. Set aside until cool, then remove all the meat from the chicken, discarding the bones and skin. Shred the meat and set aside.
- To make the filling, heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion, garlic and leeks and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the oregano and parsley, then season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the reserved chicken, potatoes, milk and cream, stir well and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- To cook the pies, roll out half the pastry to ½cm thickness on a lightly floured surface and cut pastry into four 13cm circles to fit 12cm-diameter pie dishes. Carefully press pastry into each lightly oiled pie dish and trim off excess pastry around top of pie dish. Brush top edge of pastry with water, then cover with a thin strip of extra pastry to make a raised edge. Spoon 2-3 heaped tablespoons of the filling into each pie base. Roll out remaining pastry to ½cm thickness and cut pastry into four 12cm circles. Moisten the pie pastry rims with water and cover with the remaining pastry rounds, pressing the edges together with your fingers, then trim the edges. Place a spring onion slice on top of each pie. Brush with the remaining egg wash and bake in a preheated oven at 190C for 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
- Serve hot with a simple mixed leaf salad.
Wine to try
2006 Hay Shed Hill Chardonnay, Margaret River, A$25
Chardonnay is a real food wine. While it’s great with rich seafood, such as lobster or crayfish, chardonnay also shines with chicken – especially when butter and cream are added to the equation. Some sweetness in this classic pie comes from leeks that have been braised in butter and oil. Of course, there are chardonnays and chardonnays, but this is a real cracker. The Hay Shed Hill label has been a bit of a corporate football but is now firmly back on track with ex-Howard Park winemaker Michael Kerrigan at the helm. Kerrigan’s natural winemaking talent is emphasised by the superb 2006 vintage. It was a cool and even year that produced pristine fruit with bright white stone fruit flavours. The clarity of expression in this chardonnay is brought into focus by excellent citrus-fresh acidity. Whether you’re partnering it with a chicken pie or drinking it solo, this is a wonderful new-wave chardonnay at an affordable price.
Note: For an alternative match, try a dry rosé such as Charles Melton’s Rose of Virginia.