This is another great way to stretch out the leftover chicken for a midweek supper, and the tarragon pairs beautifully with both the chard and the chicken. Feel free to make your own pastry but good-quality shop-bought is fine to use and makes this a very easy supper. You can use any veg or mixture that takes your fancy fennel is particularly good, as is leftover veg from the roast.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 300 g leftover roast chicken
- Juices from the roasting tray (optional)
- 400 g Swiss (or ruby) chard
- 25 g butter
- 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder (Marigold)
- 2 rounded tbsp plain flour
- 600 ml whole milk, plus a little extra for brushing
- 2 sprigs of French tarragon
- 240 g packet ready-made shortcrust or puff pastry
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Roughly chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside with any saved roasting juices.
- Separate the chard stalks from the leaves and cut the stalks into 2–3 cm pieces. Blanch the leaves in a pan of boiling salted water for a minute or two, then remove with tongs and drain well. Add the chard stalks to the boiling water and blanch for 3–4 minutes until just tender, then drain well. Squeeze out excess water from the chard leaves and chop roughly.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the bouillon powder, stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two. Take off the heat and gradually add the milk, stirring all the time, to make a smooth sauce. Return to a low heat and slowly bring to the boil, stirring all the time. The sauce should be just thicker than double cream.
- Add the chopped chicken to the sauce together with any roasting juices, the chard, tarragon and salt and pepper to taste. Heat gently for about 5 minutes, then tip the mixture into a 20 cm round baking dish, 5–6 cm deep.
- Roll the pastry out thinly to a round or oval for the pie lid. Brush the rim of the pie dish with a little water, then place the pastry over the filling. Press the edge down onto the rim of the dish to seal and trim off the excess pastry. Brush the pastry lid with milk. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden.