Just the words “chicken pie” are enough to send us off into a reverie of rainy days and warming home cooking. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when sweet corn and leek make such perfect bedfellows in this pie. Best served on a cold, winter’s day when this pie will send a warm, wafting aroma rising gently towards you.
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baby spinach leaves
Preheat the grill to a medium-high heat. Grease a baking dish or individual ovenproof ramekins. To prepare the ingredients, peel the potatoes and cut them into 2 cm chunks. Trim the fat from the chicken thighs and dice. Halve the leek and thinly slice. Peel the carrot and finely dice. Husk the corn and remove the kernels. Peel and crush the garlic. Wash the baby spinach. Finely chop the parsley and finely grate the Parmesan cheese.
Place the potato in a large saucepan of water, bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Add half of the butter and season with salt and pepper. Using a potato masher, mash the potato until you reach a chunky and firm consistency.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until browned. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside. Place the same pan back over a medium-high heat. Add the leek, carrot and corn and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the baby spinach and stir through until wilted. Transfer to the same bowl as the chicken. Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel.
In a small jug combine the chicken stock cube, hot water and milk. Melt the remaining butter in the same frying pan over a medium heat. Stir in the plain flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the stock mixture. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Stir through the Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Stir through the parsley and the chicken and vegetable mixture. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish or individual ovenproof ramekins.
Top with the mashed potato and roughen up with a fork. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Cook under the grill for 5-10 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven, divide between plates and enjoy!