Friday, August 8, 2008

Chicken & Vegetable Pie


I'm not sure what it is about a freshly baked chicken pie that'll stir up comfy and snug feelings. All the more so if served on a cold, wet Sunday morning. It was exactly like this on one Sunday morning which gave me the inspiration to bake some chicken pies.

For sure this is definitely something which my husband will eat. If you've been reading some of my previous posts, you'll know that he's not one who likes cakes - with the exception of anything that has cheese in or on it.

I decided straight away that I'll make individual pies instead of a large one - makes serving so much easier. If you're rush for time, you can always purchase frozen puff pastry sheets from the supermarket instead of making the pastry from scratch.



Chicken & Vegetable Pie
(Recipe source: Delicious)
serves 6

Ingredients for the filing:

1 large (about 1.5 kg) chicken
200 g diced streaky bacon
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 carrots
Bouquet garni*
2 potatoes, diced
1 leek, white part only, finely sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
125g mixed frozen vegetables
85g unsalted butter
225g button mushrooms, sliced
25g plain flour
150ml thick cream
2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tbs milk, to brush

Ingredients for the pastry:

1 1/3 cups (200g) plain flour, sifted
55g unsalted butter
55g lard

Method:

1) To make pastry, process all ingredients in a food processor until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 2 tablespoons iced water and process until pastry forms a smooth ball. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2) Place chicken in a saucepan with onion, 1 roughly chopped carrot and bouquet garni. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Remove chicken, cool slightly, then cut meat into chunks.

3) Strain stock into a clean saucepan. Chop remaining carrots and add to pan with potatoes and leek. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, then add celery and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove vegetables, reserving 350ml of the stock (freeze remainder for soups), and place in a large bowl with the chicken chunks.

4) Preheat the oven to 180°C.

5) Melt 50g butter in a frypan over medium heat, fry the bacon until brown. Using the same plan with the oil, add in the mushrooms and mixed frozen vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes. Dish out into a bowl. Melt remaining butter in a pan over medium-low heat, add flour, then cook for 1 minute.

6) Add reserved stock and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add cream, stir in parsley and season well with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

7) Pour sauce into bowl with chicken and all the vegetables, stir and place in a bowl to cool.

8) Bring pastry to room temperature and roll out on a well floured board. Use a 1.5 litre pie dish or small individual pie cases. Cover the entire bottom and side of your pie dish or cases with pastry. Then add the chicken and vegetable filing into the pie dish or cases. Brush the edges of the pastry and cover the pie(s) with a pastry top.

9) Firmly press edges of the pastry together by using the fork (it'll also form a nice pattern around the edges of your pie). Using a sharp knife cut a small cross on the top of each pie. This will allow the steam escape whilst your pie is being baked. Place pies onto a baking tray (the tray makes it easier to remove the pies from the oven and also to catch any sauce which may overflow during the baking process)

10) Brush with milk and bake in preheated oven of 190C for 25 minutes or until golden.

Notes & tips

* To make a bouquet garni, tie a few sprigs of parsley, thyme and bay leaves together with string.



1 comment:

Tom said...

I love your perfect golden puff pastry. They look absolutely delicious!

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