We all cook the same recipes most of the time, so how can we boost our favourite meals without the family kicking up a fuss? Save time and pump-up the filling flavours with you chicken pie using a carton of buttermilk, Dijon mustard and leeks instead of a traditional white sauce.


1tbsp olive oil

2 onions, chopped

200g smoked bacon lardoons

500g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 3

1 leek, sliced

150ml chicken stock

284ml carton buttermilk

2tsp Dijon mustard

50g chesnut mushrooms, sliced

few sprigs thyme

2tbsp thickening granules

375g puff pastry

1 egg, lightly beaten


1 Fry onions in a large deep frying pan for 5 mins. Add bacon, cook for 5 mins. Stir in chicken, season and cook for 10mins.

2 Heat oven to 220C, Gas 7.  Microwave leeks with 2tbsp cold water on High for 3 mins.

3 Pour stock and buttermilk into pan with chicken. Spoon in mustard, sliced mushrooms, and thyme. Simmer for 10 mins.

4 Stir in thickening granules and pour into a pie dish.

5 Roll out pastry on a floured surface until it’s 5cm larger than top of pie dish. Cut off a 2.5cm strip from the edge. Grease edge of pastry dish,  press on pastry strip, brush with water.  Top with pastry, pressing edges well, to seal. Tap pastry edges with a knife, and pinch to finish.

6 Cut out stars from pastry trimmings. Brush pastry with egg, arrange stars on top, brush over egg to glaze. Bake for 30 mins until pastry is golden.

Per serving: 515cals, 30g fat, (9g saturated) 51g carbs

MAKE IT VEGGIE: Fry onions in oil. Leave out the bacon. Add 600g Quorn Frozen Chicken Style Pieces and fry for 5 mins. Replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock. (We like Knorr stock pots). Continue making pie and bake in the same way as the meaty version.

TIMESAVER: Buy a sheet of ready rolled pastry, cut it into 4 and bake separately for puff pastry hats to serve with the saucy chicken.