Cumberland Chicken Gratin Pie

I sometimes think I could fill a book on ways to get a second meal from the remains of a roast chicken dinner. Apart from stock, which I always make with the bones and debris of the bird, there is usually enough meat to add to other ingredients to make a substantial soup, pasta sauce, a gratin or a pie. Salads and sandwiches are another route. I often add a few sausages when I’m roasting a chicken and leftovers of both combine in this gratin pie. The topping is part mashed potato – another leftover – with blanched slices of potato arranged around the sides, the top covered with the usual gratinee topping of breadcrumbs and finely grated hard cheese. This combination went down so well, I know I will be making it again. Probably next week.

Serves 2, very generously

Prep: 30 min

Cook: 45 min

1 onion

40g butter

1 trimmed leek, approx 100g

approx 300g roast chicken

2-3 roast Cumberland sausages

½ tbsp flour

1 tsp Dijon mustard

200ml chicken stock

½ lemon

2 potatoes

150g leftover mashed potato

3 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

3 tbsp finely grated Parmesan, grana Padano or similar

Halve, peel and finely chop the onion. Soften gently in 40g butter melted in a spacious, lidded sauté/frying pan over a medium-low heat. Toss to begin with, adding a generous pinch salt. Trim and slice the leeks in thin rounds, agitate in a bowl of water and drain. Stir the leeks into the sloppy onions, cover and leave to sweat for a few minutes while you pick over and cut the chicken into bite size pieces and cut up the sausages. When the leek is sloppy, stir the flour and mustard into the juices, then add the stock, stirring as the liquid thickens. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Stir in the chicken and sausages to nicely amalgamate. Tip the mix into a gratin dish and leave to cool. Boil the kettle while you peel the potatoes. Slice slightly thicker than a 50p coin. Rinse and drain. Drop into boiling salted water. Boil for 3 minutes. Drain and spread in the colander to cool slightly. Spoon the mashed potato into the middle of the gratin and edge around it with overlapping slices of potato as if making a French apple tart. Mix crumbs and cheese together and scatter over the top. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a hot oven (200C) for 25-35 minutes until crusty and golden.