Spring is without a doubt my favourite time of year – so
much hope after a long, often bleak-feeling winter. And
it just gets better and better as the weeks pass. Cold,
crisp sunny days, when it feels like summer in the sun and
winter in the shade. And it is that feeling that I have tried
to capture in this recipe – a fresh vibrant fricassee chicken
but in pie form. You can stick to my recipe if you like but
equally you can use whatever veg you have to hand. If
asparagus isn't quite in season yet, just omit and add
chopped green beans or baby leaf spinach to the base
instead. It's the spring veg that really lifts this dish.
To serve, I've paired it with a Côtes de Gascogne, a fresh
light and easy-to-drink white wine which works well with
the hum of lemon in the base. An Austrian grüner veltliner
is another good option. Serve with a crisp salad on the
side and you have a perfect springtime meal
- 750g chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
- Olive oil
- A knob of butter
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 spring onions, trimmed
- 125g bunch of asparagus, trimmed
- 2 large or 3 medium carrots, peeled
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- ½ bunch of thyme, leaves picked
- 1 rounded tbsp plain flour
- 400ml hot chicken stock
- 80g peas – fresh or frozen
- Zest of ½ lemon
- 150ml double cream
- 500g red-skinned potatoes
1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Cut each thigh into 4
and season well. Place a wide, shallow ovenproof
pan or casserole dish (around 26cm diameter) on a
medium heat and fry the chicken in a little olive oil
and the butter for 5-8 minutes until browned.
2. Meanwhile prepare the veg – slice the spring
onions and asparagus into 2-3cm lengths. Slice the
carrots into 1cm rounds. Finely chop the garlic.
3. When the chicken is ready, add the garlic, carrots
and spring onions to the pan along with most of
the thyme leaves. Reduce the heat slightly and
sauté for 10 minutes. While they are cooking, wash
and slice the potatoes into ½cm rounds.
4. When the veg is ready add the flour to the pan,
stir in, then add the chicken stock and bring to
the boil. Stir in the peas, lemon zest and sliced
asparagus. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes
until slightly thickened. Stir in the double cream.
5. Lay the potatoes evenly on top of the chicken,
overlapping them slightly and season whilst
layering. Drizzle the top with olive oil and the
remaining thyme leaves and transfer to the oven.
6. Cook for around 30-35 minutes, or until golden
brown and the potatoes are cooked through.
Find more of Georgina's recipes