Preparation and Cooking Time: 30 minutes
3 rashers (200g) bacon, cut into strips
1 large or 2 small bulbs fennel, sliced thinly, tips reserved1 large (500g) leek, sliced thickly
1.3kg chicken thigh fillets, diced
200g mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon mild English mustard
1 cup (250ml) milk
½ cup (125ml) cream
1 tablespoon (20ml) lemon juice
2 tablespoons tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
100g baby spinach leaves
4 sheets filo pastry
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Sugar snap peas, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease an ovenproof dish (1.5-2L/6-8 cup capacity).
- Dry fry bacon in a large deep-sided frying pan over moderate heat until beginning to crisp. Remove and drain.
- Melt 30g butter in same pan over moderate heat, add fennel bulbs and leek and cook for 3 minutes, add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes more or until fennel and leeks are soft but not coloured. Remove and add to bacon. Melt 30g butter in pan, add chicken and cook until golden. Add flour and mustard, mix well and cook for a further 2 minutes. Gradually pour in milk and cream and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Cook for at least 1 minute.
- Add lemon juice, tarragon, spinach, chopped fennel tops and reserved bacon and vegetables, mix well and spoon mixture into prepared dish.
- Melt remaining butter. Place 2 sheets of filo on the bench and brush with butter. Top with remaining sheets. Cut in half into two squares. Place one square on top of chicken mixture and brush with butter, top with remaining pastry square, brush with butter and sprinkle with fennel seeds. Tuck in the excess pastry.
- Place pie on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving with steamed sugar snap peas.
- Suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave.
Lyndey’s Note: To make individual pies, spoon the chicken mixture into ramekins, top with a circle of puff pastry and bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden.