This is my ultimate, nostalgic favourite – comfort in a pie.
1 whole chicken (I used Waitoa)
1 brown onion, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
1 carrot, peeled, roughly chopped
4 whole cloves
sea salt and ground pepper
50 grams butter
1 brown onion, finely chopped
3 sprigs thyme
2 small-medium leeks, trimmed, sliced into 1cm rounds
1 carrot, peeled, chopped
2 tablespoons each white wine and plain flour
1⁄4 cup cream
1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, to taste
1⁄4 cup grated parmesan
1⁄3 cup finely chopped parsley
500 grams butter puff pastry
1 egg, whisked
Spray the base of a 25cm pie dish very lightly with cooking oil spray and brush to coat the sides.
Chicken: Put the chicken in a large pot with the onion, bay leaves, thyme, carrot and cloves. Season well, cover with water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat slightly and cook for 1 hour, or until the chicken is starting to fall apart a little as you lift it out of the water with tongs. Drain the liquid through a colander, reserving the stock. Shred the chicken from the bones, put aside to chill and put the chicken carcass and stock back in the pot to simmer for another hour. At this point pour the stock through a sieve, discard the carcass and chill the stock in the fridge for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
Heat the butter in a large pot, add the onion, thyme, leeks and carrot, season well with salt and pepper, and cook over a medium/gentle heat for 20 minutes. Whisk the wine, flour and cream together and add to the pot, stir to combine, then add 1 cup of the reserved stock (skim any fat off first), bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Add the Dijon and parmesan, stir to combine then add the shredded chicken. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Cut out 2 circles of pastry, the first large enough to line the base and sides of the pie dish and the other to match the top of the pie dish. Line the tin with the bigger pastry circle.
Stir the parsley through the chicken filling and put into the pastry-lined dish. Brush the lip of the exposed pastry with the egg. Place the pastry lid on top. Squash the edges to seal, trim the excess pastry and use your thumb or the tines of a fork to make a pattern around the edge. Decorate if desired with cut outs from the excess pastry. Brush with egg and cut a few slits in the top with a sharp knife.
Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, and up to 6 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cook the pie for 55-60 minutes until golden. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.