In the aftermath, we all ate ourselves into a stupor. There were people strewn across my living room floor, groaning in over-indulgence. We had a communal nap.
And yet there were still leftovers. A simple dinner of bubble and squeak made light work of the leftover vegetables. The carcasses of the chickens were stripped, flesh ripped off the bones and the stock bubbled in the oven overnight. I woke up the next day and staggered into the kitchen in my pyjamas, polishing off a cleansing bowl of broth for breakfast. When the time came, the stock was reduced by two thirds. Dark and rich, the resultant liquid coated the mouth with intense chicken flavour. There was only one thing for it; PIE.
Filo pastry is a total bitch to work with if, like me, you are cursed with clumsy oafishness. I gave up trying to line my dish with layers upon layers of delicate casing. Instead, the leaves of pastry were scrunched up to make a topping. Crisp shards crunched in the mouth giving way to a rich creamy filling. I did away with the typical mashed potatoes and instead opted simply for courgettes fried with garlic to accompany the pie.
Chicken & Mushroom Filo Pie
Leftover cooked chicken meat - about 300gr
300gr mini portabello mushrooms, chopped roughly
1 leek, chopped roughly
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 rasher of smoked bacon, chopped finely
3 fat cloves of garlic
3 sprigs of thyme
1 large handful of parsley
200ml (ish) strong chicken stock
50ml double cream
3 tbsp plain flour
A few sheets of filo pastry
A sprinkling of hot smoked paprika
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Add some oil to a pan and fry the bacon for a few minutes. Add the leek and the celery and fry till softened. Crush the garlic and add to the pan, stirring well. Throw in the mushrooms with a hefty pinch of salt along with the thyme leaves. Fry for a few minutes, then add the stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Mix the flour with a bit of the sauce mixture in a small bowl until smooth ad whisk into the sauce. Add the chicken and the double cream, simmer until nicely thickened. Take off the heat and add the parsley, chopped finely. Taste for seasoning.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Spoon the chicken mixture into a baking dish. Carefully brush each filo sheet with butter and scrunch lightly, laying it on top of the baking dish. Repeat until it is covered. Sprinkle with the hot paprika and place in the oven, cooking for 40 - 45 minutes.
Remove and leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.