If we had to choose an entry for the 'Pie Most Likely To Please' competition, we'd be nominating this one. It has tender chunks of chicken thigh and veggies cocooned in a creamy sauce flavoured with thyme and mustard, topped off with chunks of tender crushed potato and a cheesy Cheddar crust. It's a winning combination you can't help but love.
/ serving 4 people
/ serving 4 people
baby spinach leaves
shredded Cheddar cheese(ContainsMilk)
salt (for the mash)
plain flour (or gluten-free plain flour)(ContainsGluten)
salt (for the sauce)
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic press). Finely chop the carrot (unpeeled). Finely chop the zucchini. Thinly slice the leek. Roughly chop the parsley. Pick the thyme leaves. TIP: Hold each thyme sprig at the top, then gently run your fingers down to remove the leaves. If the sprigs are very soft, you can just chop them instead. Chop the chicken thigh into 2cm chunks.
Peel the potato and cut into 2cm chunks. TIP: Leave the skin on the potato if you want to save time! Add the potato to the boiling water and cook until easily pierced with a knife, 10-15 minutes. Drain and return to the saucepan. Using a fork, break the potato into rough chunks. Add a drizzle of olive oil, the salt (for the potato) and a pinch of pepper, and toss to coat. Set aside.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the chicken and cook, tossing, until browned, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a large baking dish. Return the pan to a medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the carrot, zucchini and leek and cook, stirring, until softened, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, baby spinach leaves and 1/2 the parsley and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add to the large baking dish with the chicken.
Preheat the grill to high. Return the frying pan to a medium heat and melt the butter. Add the plain flour and cook, stirring, until combined, 1 minute. Add the hot water, cooking cream, the salt (for the sauce), the crumbled chicken stock cubes and season with pepper. Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens, 5 minutes. Stir through the wholegrain mustard.
Return the chicken and vegetables to the frying pan and stir through the creamy sauce. Transfer the mixture to the large baking dish and top with the crushed potato. Sprinkle with the shredded Cheddar cheese. Grill until the cheese has melted and the potato is crispy and golden, 7-8 minutes.
Divide the chicken and vegetable pie between plates and sprinkle the remaining parsley over the adults' portions.