Chicken, Smoky Bacon and Tomato Pies (makes 6 pies or 1 large family pie)
2 tbsp oil
150 manuka-smoked honey bacon or similar cut into thin strips
1/2 leek, finely sliced
1 tsp each: crushed garlic, smoked paprika, finely chopped fresh rosemary
750g boneless chicken thighs, diced
400g can diced tomatoes
1/2 C tomato paste
1 C each: chicken stock, cannellini beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tsp cornflour plus 2 tbsp water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
oil for spraying
3-4 sheets puff pastry
1 egg yolk or 1/4 C milk combined to make eggwash
Heat oil in a large, heavy-based pan and saute the bacon strips, leeks, garlic, paprika and rosemary for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat until fragrant.
Add diced chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes until it is coloured. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock and beans or chickpeas and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
Add the combined cornflour and water and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Season well and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Spray or brudh 6 shallow pie dishes, serving dishes or a large pie dish lightly with oil. Spoon the chicken filling into each dish.
Cut 6 x 12.5 cm rounds fro the pastry sheets or rounds big enough to fit over each pie dish with a slight overhang.
Using the back of a knife, score the circles of pastry into a windmill or fan pattern, not quite cutting through the pastry but making definite marks. Cut 6 thin strips of pastry about 1cm wide and press them gently around the top of each serving dish to make a platform for the pastry lid.
Brush the pastry lids with eggwash and lay a scored pastry lid on each pastry platform. Crimp the edges of the lids and platforms together with the back of a knife and brush generously with the eggwash.
Pierce 2 holes in each lid to allow steam to escape, place the pies on a heavy baking tray and bake them in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until they are puffed and golden. Serve the pies with winter vegetables.