4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
splash of olive oil
1 large (or 2 medium) onion
2 medium potatoes
3 large carrots
1 really heaped tbsp plain flour
1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes
500ml chicken stock
500g uncooked chicken (breast or thigh, skinless and boneless), chopped into bite size pieces
a few fresh thyme sprigs (or 1 tbsp dried thyme)
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
375g puff pastry
Chop the bacon and add to a large casserole pan over a medium heat with a splash of olive oil, frying to a nice crisp.
Peel and chop the onion, potatoes and carrots into bite size chunks and add to the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes until softened, putting the lid on but leaving a gap for steam to escape.
Add the meat and flour, and stir well.
Pour in the stock and tinned tomatoes, scraping any bits from the bottom for added flavour. Stir well and season with salt and pepper, then add the herbs.
Bring to the boil without the lid, then reduce the heat, put the lid on and and simmer for about an hour. Check it after about 40 minutes, and if it seems too liquid, then remove the lid for the remaining 20 minutes.
Discard the bay leaves and tip the pie filling into your chosen pie dish, allowing to cool.
Remove the pastry from the fridge a few minutes before you need it. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. If working with a block of puff pastry, dust the work surface with flour and roll to the thickness of a £1 coin (about 3mm) and large enough to cover your pie dish.
Beat an egg and brush a little around the pie dish edge, to help the pastry stick. Transfer the pastry to the pie dish (this is easiest if you roll it around a floured rolling pin and then unroll it over the dish).
Brush the top with the rest of the egg, and make a small hole in the middle with a sharp knife to allow the steam to escape. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden.
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