Chicken, Mushroom and Bacon Pie: Even the word pie is comforting. But then, it would be hard to deny the very real lure of pastry, especially when, as here, you know you're going to dunk it in gravied juices till its luscious lightness has become deliciously, soggily heavy. I concede, however, that making and rolling out your own pastry is not necessarily the speediest option, so I use bought, all-butter ready-rolled puff pastry and feel fine about it.
For a quick and easy family dinner, try this hearty cottage pie packed with succulent chicken thighs and crispy bacon lardons and topped with golden potatoes and rich Cheddar cheese. Full of flavour and simple to make – the perfect midweek meal.
This pie would make a wonderful centrepiece for a family meal. My granddaughters Abby and Grace helped me to make it for the TV programme. For this recipe you will need a 1.75 litre/3 pint shallow, wide-based ovenproof dish, about 25cm/10in in diameter.