The first time I had chicken pot pie was at The Grill on The Alley in Manchester. I seriously loved it! I could not believe I had gone years without ever trying it.

When I moved to Spain I had (well, still have) an average oven, so I decided to try and make a chicken pot pie. I’ve come up with this recipe and tweaked it a little bit – after all, what is life without a little improvisation?! This recipe tastes really good, especially as the meaty flavour from the shimeji mushrooms doesn’t fade when cooked with garlic.

The truth is that I’m a savoury kind of person and this recipe is one of those meals that makes me very happy. What’s not to love about the succulent chicken breast with creamy mashed butternut squash, infused with rosemary and blended with full-bodied mushrooms sealed in a buttery pastry?

This dish truly represents one of life’s comforts which you will love coming home to after a long winter’s day at work.

Serves 2
Shopping List:

1 chicken breast, cut into thin strips
350g/ 1 half of a medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
100g/ small tray of white closed cup mushrooms, finely sliced
125g selection of oyster and shimeji mushrooms, finely sliced
2 rolls of ready-made shortcrust pastry
½ teaspoon of dried/ fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
100ml crème fraiche
1 chicken stockpot
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 heaped tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method:

In a medium-sized saucepan with boiling water, simmer the butternut squash and herbs until very soft.

While the squash is boiling, pour olive oil into a large frying pan and add the garlic over medium heat. Once the garlic begins to sizzle, add the chicken strips and mushrooms and stir to coat well. Season with salt and pepper.

After 5 minutes, reduce the heat and cook until the chicken is tender and all the moisture from the mushrooms has reduced.

Drain the squash in a colander and place it back into the pan. Add the crème fraiche, chicken stock pot and Parmesan cheese. Using a wooden spoon or potato masher, puree the squash.

Once the squash mixture is pureed, add the chicken and mushrooms and mix everything together.

Spoon the chicken mixture into 2 ovenproof bowls and line the bowl with the rolled out pastry on top. Make two or three small incisions on top of the pastry to ensure excess steam can escape.

Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes at 200˚C/ 180˚C fan/ 400F/ Gas mark 6.

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