I really like Nigel Slater’s cookbook Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food, from which I get a lot of great recipes. I picked up a copy of Notes from the Larder: A Kitchen Diary with Recipes and can already tell I’m going to love it. It’s organized seasonally but also has a good index so you can browse that way if you’d like or use it to find something you read about earlier.
The first recipe I tried was for “a hearty pie of chicken and leeks.” In the last Elizabeth George mystery novel I read, one of the characters delivered a chicken and leek pie to an elderly neighbor and I’ve been wanting to eat one ever since!
My regular chicken pot pie recipe has pearl onions, carrots and celery. This one has leeks and bacon, with a bit of mustard in the sauce and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan on top of the crust. The other big difference was that the chicken is cooked in milk along with peppercorns, half an onion and bay leaves. When the chicken is done, you strain the milk and then use it to make the white sauce, which is brilliant for getting a bit more chicken flavor in there. Oh, and it uses frozen puff pastry for the pie topping, which is much easier of course, but also gives a different feel to the whole thing due to the flaky crust.
He has another simpler chicken and leek pie in the same book where you roast the chicken pieces, make the sauce with stock rather than milk, seasoned with fresh parsley rather than mustard and without the cheese on top.
Leftovers are great for lunch–and breakfast as well according to a friend I shared some with.