Chicken and Leek Pie

For Bon's Confirmation I made this pie...It involves hand rearing a big, plump chicken, wringing its neck, defeathering... Just kidding. Read , 'It's time consuming', but as the saying goes : "All good things come to those that wait"...or work. Take your pick. This pie is well worth the little extra effort that goes into its preparation. I'm sure it can be done with some shortcuts so I may blog my "Cheats, Artistic license" version some other time! But Here Goes! (Original recipe found in Delicious- 'Comfort' magazine). 1.2kg whole chicken (I used a Mt Barker one - it was 1.4kg cause I'm not very good with numbers!)) 1 large carrot, 1 large onion, chopped roughly 1 bouquet garni (herb sachet - found in herb section of most supermarkets or make your own by tying 2 fresh bay leaves and 2 sprigs each of thyme and parsley with kitchen string.) 1 tbs olive oil 1 leek, thickly sliced and washed 175g rindless shortcut bacon rashers 50g unsalted butter 1/3 cup (50g) plain flour 100g creme fraiche or sour cream 1tbs grainy mustard 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry (thawed) 1 egg 1 cup peas Place the chicken in a large heavy based pan over a high heat. I have a large 28cm Le Creuset pot which was perfect. Add carrot, onion and bouquet garni and enough cold water to cover (the pot gets very, very full!) Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat for roughly 45 minutes. Remove chicken and shred the meat into bite sized pieces. Return the bones to the pan of stock and simmer over medium-high heat for another 30 or so minutes until slightly reduced. Strain and discard solids, reserving the stock. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the leek and bacon, stirring for 2-3 minutes until the leek softens and the bacon starts to crisp. Add the butter, and when melted, add the flour and stir for one minute. Add 600ml of the reserved stock and the peas and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Stir in the creme fraiche, mustard and chicken. Set aside to cool completely. (I did up to this step the day before the Confirmation and refrigerated this chicken mixture in the large, round pie dish I was going to bake it in.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Place the pastry over the chicken mix, trim the edges and use these scraps to fill in the around the edges of the dish, where pastry is missing. Press edges to seal and cut an air vent in the centre of the pie. Brush pie top with egg. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling hot. I served it with a gorgeous salad on the side, but green veggies would also be great. Enjoy!! We sure did!
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