I first came across this amazing pie on a fantastic baking blog – The Cake Hunter. Her pictures, of a beautiful crispy filo topping and a delicious creamy filling, sold me instantly. I had to have that pie! I first made it for a group of four big hungry men and it disappeared in minutes. So fast in fact I’m sure I didn’t get my fair share! I just had to make it again last night, although this time it was only to feed two of us so I halved the recipe. The recipe below is for the full pie,which feeds five generously.
The pie is originally a recipe from the Hairy Dieters. The new book by the, rather skinnier, Hairy bikers. The book is entitled ‘How to love food and lose weight’ and by golly I think they might have cracked it! After having this pie I tried a few more of their recipes and they’re all so good – I’ve ordered the book! It’s stealth dieting. These recipes are in undercover mode. Hiding a healthy, diet friendly interior under behind a smoke screen of tasty, deliciousness. Take this pie. It has pastry, a creamy filling, two types of meat, white wine and yet somehow it’s still under 500 calories without tasting like diet food. Frankly, I’m amazed.
Chicken and Ham Tangle Pie
1 Medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 medium leek, peeled and finely chopped
100ml white wine
1 chicken stock cube
100g mushrooms, sliced
500g cooked chicken breast (You could also use the meat from a 1kg whole chicken)
100g sliced smoked ham
2tbsp plain flour
300g half fat crème fraiche
freshly ground black pepper
3 sheets of filo pastry
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tsp oil
– Begin by adding a little low fat spray to a pan and heating the onion and garlic for a few minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the leek and continue to fry for a few more minutes.
– Pour in the white wine and 100ml of the water. Dissolve the stock cube into the pan. Use the back of a wooden spoon to help squish it in. Add the mushrooms. Let it all bubble away for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced by half the take it off the heat.
– Now turn to the meat. I precooked the chicken breast in the oven. I put the covered dish with a little splash of white wine, a drop of water and some black pepper. Once cooked, shred it using two forks. It’s a lot easier to do this while the chicken is still warm. I also reserved the cooking juices to add to the sauce. Put all the chicken in a large bowl. Cut the ham into thin strips and add to the bowl. Sprinkle the flour on top and toss it all together.
– Add in the onion and stock mixture, the rest of the water and the crème fraiche. Give it all a good stir together and season with lots of back pepper. Pour it all into a 1.5 litre pie dish. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/390°F.
– Now for the best bit – creating the crispy filo topping! Put the sheets together on the work surface. Cut the filo into about nine rectangles, cutting through all the layers. Put the oil into a small bowl or cup. Brush the rectangles, one at a time with a little bit of oil. Then loosely scrunch up the pastry and arrange it on top of the filling until the whole pie is covered.
– Bake in the oven for about 30 – 35 minutes until the pastry is golden and crispy, and the lovely chickeny, creamy filling is bubbling.