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Fuss-free feast to tempt the whole brood to the table.

 - Serves 4


700g (1lb 9oz) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cubed
25g (1oz) butter
1tbsp oil
200g (14oz) shallots, halved
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2tbsp chopped fresh thyme
40g (1½oz) plain flour
100ml (3½fl oz) white wine
300ml (10fl oz) chicken stock
250g (9oz) trimmed blanched asparagus
150ml (5fl oz) crème fraiche
250g (9oz) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten


Chicken thigh is often seen as the inferior cousin of breast meat but it actually has a lot more flavour, is less inclined to dry out and is less expensive too

Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the chicken and fry until golden and cooked through. Set to one side.

Leave just a tablespoon of oil in the pan and add the butter.

Stir in the shallots and cook for 5 minutes until golden and softened. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another couple of minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute or so.

Pour in the wine and stock, whisking until smooth. Let it bubble and thicken for a few minutes before adding the asparagus and creme fraiche.

Check the seasoning and spoon into four 250ml (9fl oz) pie dishes. Cut the pastry into four equal sized pieces and roll out into squares large enough to cover the pies. Brush the pie rims with egg, place the pastry on top, press into place and cut a slit in each. Brush with more egg and bake for 20 minutes until golden. Delicious served with carrots and broccoli.

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