- 250ml - cream
- 3 - leeks, chopped
- 2 - medium-sized carrots, peeled and chopped
- about 15–30ml - sweet chilli sauce (optional)
- 1.2kg - chicken pieces (at least 2 breasts)
- - a pinch of nutmeg
- 2 - bay leaves
- 5ml - lemon zest
- 9 - soft-boiled eggs, peeled
- 400g - spinach, blanched and chopped
- 400g - puff pastry
- 30ml - flour
- 30ml - butter
- 250g - mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped
- 400g - streaky bacon
- 15ml - oil
- 125ml - chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 - stalks celery, chopped
- 500–750ml - stock
1. Brown the chicken pieces in the oil. Place them in a pot with the carrots, celery, bay leaf and stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for about 25 minutes until cooked. Drain (keep the stock), allow to cool slightly and flake the chicken. Discard the skin and bones.
2. Add the butter to the same pan in which the chicken was fried and sauté the mushrooms and leeks until cooked and aromatic. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir in the flour; cook for a minute. Whisk in the cream and 250ml of the reserved stock and simmer until thickened. Stir in the spinach, lemon zest, parsley and nutmeg and allow to cool. Stir in the chicken.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a deep, square baking pan (23cm) with the puff pastry (roll it slightly thinner if necessary). Place a sheet of baking paper on the pastry, sprinkle some dry beans on top and blind bake for about 25 minutes. Remove the baking paper and beans and bake for a few more minutes to get a crispy, golden brown crust.
4. Spoon the chicken filling into the pie casing and arrange the whole eggs in-between for an added surprise when you slice the pie. Now weave the streaky bacon tightly (see photo) and place it on top of the pie. Tuck it in around the edges of the filling, rather than cutting off the excess; the bacon top will shrink while the pie is cooking, so it must be slightly bigger to begin with.
5. Brush the sweet chilli sauce over the bacon and bake for about 25 minutes or until the bacon has browned and the pie is cooked through. Serve immediately.