This is fabulously easy to make, delicious to eat and looks seriously impressive. What more could you ask for?
x1 chicken, poached
x1.5 tins of Campbells condensed Cream of Mushroom soup
x1 packet of parsley (the English stuff only available from Cold Strorage – flat leaf or curly, it doesn’t matter – do NOT buy the Chinese parsley, which I call coriander, as it tastes wrong in this particular dish)
x1 packet of ready rolled puff pastry (Cold Storage freezer section)
x1 egg for glazing pastry
Poach the chicken (throw in to a big pot full of lightly salted, gently boiling water and cook for about 30 minutes). Don’t over cook or it will be horribly dry.
Have a cup of tea. I suggest Earl Grey (or, if you are a organised, you could do the poaching bit the night before you need it).
Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
Take the box of frozen pre-rolled puff pastry out of the freezer. Give it 5 minutes by which time the top piece should be very easy to separate from the rest with a long knife. Stick rest of packet back in freezer immediately AS WELL AS the one you have just separated (it’s much easier to use slightly frozen vs melted), keeping it apart from its friends in the box.
Shred cooked chicken in to big-ish bits – you don’t want to be eating tiny scraps of meat:
Open can of soup. Pour over chicken.
Chop a handful of parsley in a cup with scissors (truly the speediest way to chop up herbs). Remove the stalks – you just want the leaves. Add to dish which will by now look something like this:
Take your single sheet of frozen pre-rolled puff pastry from freezer (give it a minute to slightly soften) and lay on top of everything:
Oh damn, it doesn’t quite fit. Never mind, just pinch the sides of the pastry to seal it the best you can and stop the pie drying out. The pinching bit needn’t look perfect as once everything’s cooked you can’t really see it. Trim the pasty from around the edge of the dish and cut off the long dangling bits.
As you can see my old casserole dish wasn’t quite the right size for the pastry (not too far off) but I just trimmed a wasted bit off the side and stuck it where there was a gap, gluing it down with a bit of water.
Brush top of pastry with a beaten egg before popping it into a pre-heated oven (180°C) for 20 minutes or until it’s golden on top. Here’s the money shot again:
Serve with a simple green salad and it tastes amazing. People eating it look at you incredulously when you say you made it (providing they don’t already know this recipe that is).
Assembly time: less than 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes (excluding the time taken to poach the chick)