I had finished with my little creme fraiche project for the time being but then I came across this recipe in May's delicious magazine which I thought looked interesting. It's called Roasted Chicken and Leek Fusilli Pie and, instead of mixing the pasta with the sauce, you just put it on top of the chicken and veg mixture, a bit like a pie crust I suppose, drizzle with olive oil and then bake it in the oven I was bit concerned that the pasta would go really crunchy like the edge of a lasagne that hasn't quite been covered by sauce.
As it turned out the pasta didn't go crunchy, apart from a few bits around the edge, although I did think it was a bit chewy. Overall I thought it was a pretty nice dish, but not outstanding. There was quite a lot preparation involved with chopping all the veg and chicken (the recipe states 15 minutes prep time but I'm sure it took me longer that that) although once that was done it was all pretty straightforward. Also, you couldn't then just put it in the oven and leave it as the veg had to be roasted, then the pasta added and then the cheese put on the top for the last five minutes. While it was nice, it was quite nice enough to justify all the effort and to be honest I'm not sure it's one I'll be making again in the future.
Here's the recipe...
Roasted Chicken and Leek Fusilli Pie
(adapted from delicious magazine, May 2009)
2 tbsp olive oil
8 large skinless chicken thigh fillets, cubed
2 red potatoes, diced
1 red onion, thickly sliced
2 leeks, washed and thickly sliced
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp plain flour
250g fusilli or other pasta shape
100g frozen peas
150ml chicken stock, hot
200g creme fraiche
75g grated fontina or gruyere
1) Preheat the oven to 109c/gas 5. Heat 1 tbsp o
il in a 1.2 litre ovenproof dish. Stir in the chicken, potatoes, onion, leek, garlic, bay leaf, flour and some seasoning. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden, stirring once or twice.
2) Meanwhile, cook the pasta until just about done but still firm in the centre, then drain well.
3) Stir the peas, stock and creme fraiche into the chicken mixture, then top with the pasta. Drizzle over the remaining olive oil, then bake for a further 20 minutes. Scatter over the cheese and return to the oven for 5 minutes until bubbling and golden.
This dish was included the magazine's "freeze ahead" section. If you want to freeze the dish, cool it completely before wrapping in cling film and foil and storing it in the freezer for up to two months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating at 190c/gas 5 for 25 minutes until piping hot. Cover with kitchen foil if it's browning too much.