Chicken and chicory pie with creamy sage sauce

Winter

You can’t beat a good old pie on a cold evening! I have used ready-made puff pastry in this recipe; as much as I truly respect those who make their own, some things are just easier bought! Of course, you can swap the puff pastry for normal shortcrust which takes no time at all to mix together, although is best left in the fridge for a bit before using, so I usually make the day before if I want to use on a weeknight. Or you can top with mashed potato or savoury crumble (see my apple crumble recipe for a lovely oaty crumble and just leave out the brown sugar).

Chicory isn’t a vegetable I use too often. I’m not a huge fan of the slightly bitter leaves in salad, but when cooked, the flavour softens to something more subtle. The sage in the sauce really makes the flavour of this dish though so don’t miss it out! Sage is very hardy and a super easy herb to grow. I have a constant, year round supply in the garden so it’s an herb I turn to quite a bit in the winter.

Serves 4
400g chicken, cut into chunks
250g chicory, roughly chopped
250g slab of ready-made puff pastry
200ml milk
100g sour cream
Handful of sage leaves, finely chopped
20g butter and 20g flour
Olive oil
One egg yolk or one tablespoon of melted butter for the top of the pastry

Pre heat the oven to 180C. Fry the chicken in a little olive oil long enough to cook through. Remove from the heat, season then cover while you make the sauce.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour to form a roux. On a low heat, very slowly add the milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Once the milk is stirred in, add the sour cream and the sage leaves and mix together. Turn the heat up a little and gently stir until the sauce thickens to the consistency of thick cream.

Layer the chicken and chicory into an ovenproof dish and pour the source over the top.

Roll out the puff pastry and lay over the dish. Trim off the edges (I think kitchen scissors are the best tool for this!) Make a slit in the middle of the pie to allow air to release. Brush the pastry all over with the egg yolk or melted butter.

Cook in the oven for 30mins then tuck in! Its lovely served with creamy mash and fresh green vegetables like kale.