This chicken pie is easy and simple, but first you must make the béchamel. Bechamel can be made several different ways. This is my mother’s recipe, so it may be more demanding than others, but it worth the effort. FYI, Roux is the thickening agent for sauces of French cooking.
Makes 1 litre
• 1 lt milk
• 1 small onion, sliced
• 4 bay leaves
• 24 peppercorns
• 2 pinches grated nutmeg
• salt & pepper
For the roux
• 6 tablespoons butter
• 6 tablespoons flour
1 medium size free range chicken
Scald milk in saucepan with onion, bay leaf, peppercorns, and nutmeg. Leave to infuse for 5-10 minutes.
Melt butter in heavy pan, whisk in flour and cook 1-2 mins until foaming but not browned. Strain in hot milk, whisk well, then bring sauce to boil, whisking constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 3-5 mins. If not using at once, rub surface with butter to prevent skin forming. Can be kept in fridge for 2-3 days.
Cook a chicken in a large pot with stock flavourings (herbs and spices as so desired). When cool enough, pull meat from carcass, removing skin. Roughly chop the breasts. Cook leek in some olive oil until soft. Combine leek and chicken with bechamel and some chopped parsley. Line pie dish with puff pastry. Fill pastry with chicken filling. Close off pie with top layer of pastry. Cook for an hour on 180degrees, or pastry is golden and interior is hot. Eat with a leafy green salad.