Recipe for Chicken Pot Pies, topped with crispy crunchy Phyllo Pastry

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion or shallot, finely chopped
2 stems celery, finely diced
2-3 carrots, small dice
2 french leeks, cut into penny rounds
250g punnet button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup petit pois peas, fresh or frozen
2 tablspoons butter
1 heaped tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup white wine (optional)
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 cups milk
zest of half a lemon and a good spritz of juice
salt and pepper
2 cups roasted chicken, cut into bite size pieces
4 – 5 sheets phyllo pastry, cut into 6cm wide strips
3 tablespoon butter, melted
sesame seeds, for finishing

How to
Preheat the oven to 180º C. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep frying pan. Add the mushrooms once the pan is really hot. Cook the mushrooms on a high heat for about 5-6 minutes until lightly coloured and the water has evaporated. Season lightly with oregano, salt and pepper. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside . Add another tablespoon of oil to the same pan and sauté the onion until softened. Add the celery, carrots and leeks. Sauté over a medium heat until the leeks and carrots have softened slightly.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to the vegetables and stir through. Once the butter has melted, add the flour and mix through. Deglaze the pan with the wine, all the while stirring to prevent lumps forming. Pour in the stock, followed by the milk. Add the lemon zest and juice. Cover with a lid and allow to simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Finally, mix in the mushrooms, peas and chicken pieces.

Spoon the chicken filling into one large pie dish or individual ramekins. Brush each pastry sheet with melted butter and scrunch up in a haphazard manner. Place on top of the filling and continue until the entire surface is covered. Scatter over the sesame seeds and bake for 35-40 minutes. The tops should be crisp and well browned. Remember, oven temperatures vary greatly and as phyllo is a delicate pastry, it can burn easily. Check for doneness after 30 minutes.

Rest the cooked pies for 5 minutes before serving.

*Originally published September 12, 2018

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Recipe provided by Bibby’s Kitchen @ 36, a food blog by Dianne Bibby. For more details on monthly cooking classes hosted in Johannesburg, email