When I moved to London from Australia two years ago, I thought: “I can handle the winter, I’ll just need to invest in some warm coats and sturdy boots!” What I didn’t take into account is just how the weather makes you feel, not physically – I can deal with shivering and sniffing – but mentally. Grey skies = grey mood. It really gets you down.
This winter has dragged on for about seven months now. More than half the year! So, to combat the dreariness I’ve been administering all manner of delicious comfort foods.
Individual chicken and mushroom pot pies
4 chicken thighs
A handful of dried mushrooms
A handful of fresh button mushrooms
A handful of baby green peas
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain white flour
1 medium leek, sliced
200ml chicken stock
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
A pack of pre-made puff pastry
Soak the dried mushrooms in the hot chicken stock until they’re tender – this should take about 20 mins. While the mushrooms are soaking, prepare the white sauce by creating a simple roux from the flour, butter and milk.
Chop the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces, brown in a pan with the fresh sliced mushrooms, sliced leek and fresh thyme.
Add the mushrooms and stock to the pan with a handful of frozen peas.
Reduce for about 10 minutes, then add the white sauce.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the pie filling to your pie pots and set aside to cool.
When cool, top with puff pastry and brush with beaten egg to get a lovely golden finish.
Bake at 180 degrees until the pastry is done, this should take about 25 – 35 minutes.
Serve with your choice of vegetables, or chips if you’re feeling particularly naughty.
Keep warm, London! Winter is almost done, and Spring is just around the corner.