Using puff pastry to make these pies means there’s no faffing around squeezing shortcrust into tins. This recipe makes two individual pies, but you can skip dividing the pastry block up and make one big pie to feed two, or double the recipe for four. Alternatively make two pies – one to eat now and one to freeze for another night. If you want to bulk your pies out even more add some leek, or mushrooms.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.
- Put the chicken and bacon into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Melt 20g of the butter in a saucepan over a high heat. When it hot and bubbling, add the onions and turn the temperature down to low/medium. Fry the onions for about 5 minutes or until soft but not coloured.
- Meanwhile, make the roux sauce by melting the remaining butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour, then mix it together to create a paste. Add the milk a little at a time, mixing it in before adding more so the mixture is free from lumps. Once all the milk is mixed in return the pan to the hob, turning the heat up to medium/high.
- Stirring all the time heat the roux sauce until it starts to boil. Keep stirring while it boils for a minute or two, forming into a thick, smooth pale sauce – even if the sauce becomes thick before it starts to boil you need to boil it for a minute to cook the flour. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tarragon as well as some seasoning.
- Lightly flour your work surface. Roll out the pastry blocks into squares of about 20cm x 20cm.
- Season your chicken then add to the roux sauce with the bacon and onion. Mix them in. Divide the filling into two, and place half into the centres of the rolled out pastry squares. Lightly brush the outside edges of the squares with water.
- Fold the pastry around the filling by pulling one of the corners into the centre. Then pull the next corner into centre and press the water-brushed edges together, so you have a ridge running from the middle to one of the corners. Crimp the edge by holding the pastry between your thumb, and your index and middle fingers. Press your thumb between your two fingers to create a crimping pattern. Go around the whole pie, pulling the corners into the centre and then crimping the edges all the way from the centre to the edge, so you end up with a square with a raised diagonal cross. Repeat with the second pie.
- Move your pies onto a baking sheet. Bush them with the beaten egg and shove into the oven for 30 minutes.
- Serve hot from the oven with freshly steamed vegetables, or salad.
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