Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chicken and Mushroom Pie inspired by Maggie Beer

My sister had told me to try out Maggie Beer's pie pastry a long while back.  I had totally forgotten about it and thought that it would be just another pastry recipe ... how good can it be?  One fine day I happened to chance upon a food blogger post mentioning the same recipe.  She had tried it out and swears that it is the best ever pie she has ever tasted! 


I must say that this is the longest ever chicken pie recipe I have come across.  Not only that, it had so many steps to putting the final product out.  It had better be good otherwise I would have wasted one whole afternoon.  And true enough it was fantastic.  The sour cream pastry was ever so moist, flavourful and crispy at the same time.  The base was only slightly soggy.  I have to say that the pie was great and the sour cream pastry recipe is even better - one that you could use in any savoury pies or tarts.



Chicken and Mushroom Pie
Recipe Adapted from "Maggie Beer's Pheasant Pie"

Marinade for the Chicken:

1 medium sized chicken about 1 to 1.2 kg weight
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 orange zested and juiced
8 sprigs fresh thyme
4 bay leaves, fresh (if using dried, use only 3)
Salt and black pepper to taste

Pie Filling:

60g unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, crushed and roughly chopped
1 small onion diced
2 Tbsp rosemary chopped
350g portobello mushrooms diced into cubes
1 tsp salt flakes
30g flour
100ml white wine + extra 2 Tbsp
100ml chicken stock (unsalted) or water
80g thickened cream
50g walnuts roasted and rubbed, roughly chopped
1 lemon zested
Pinch of salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 Batch of Sour Cream Pastry (recipe below)


1 egg yolk
1/2 tbspn milk

Method for the Filling:

1) Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2) To prepare the chicken.  Remove the wing tips.  Cut the chicken along the breast bone side in half. Spread open the chicken and using the back of your palm, press hard against the back-bone.  Make a cut on each side in between the leg and the breast and dislocate each leg at the socket by bending them back.  Twist the legs 180 degrees, so the breast of the chicken and the skin side of the legs are facing up, then cut through to the back bone to remove the legs from the body. Remove the back-bone and discard. You should end up having the chicken in quarters.

3) Combine all the marinade ingredients into a large flat dish and mix well. Place the chicken in the marinade for a minimum of 20 minutes.

4) Line a baking tray with parchment and place the chicken skin side up.  Pour the marinade over the chicken pieces.  Roast the chicken for about 30 - 40 minutes depending on the overall size of the chicken.  Mid way through the cooking process, turn the chicken around.

5) Check  by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the breast to see if any pink juices show, if so a few more minutes cooking is required. To rest, remove from the oven and turn the bird so that the breast and legs are facing down in the roasting pan.  Splash the chicken with 3 Tbsp of white wine and rest until cool enough to handle.  Once cooled, remove the flesh from the bones and set aside.

6) Roll the pastry to the desired thickness and cut into two circles, one x 27 centimetre and one x 21 centimetre for the lid. Line the fluted base with the larger circle and place the smaller circle on a plate and refrigerate.

7) Start to make the pie filling. Place a frying pan over high heat, melt the butter, fry off the garlic, onion and rosemary and then add the mushrooms. Sauté until the mushrooms are soft and half reduce by half their amount. Season with salt and pepper whilst the mushrooms are sautéing. Then add the flour to the pan to make a roux, cook out for 3 minutes, then pour in the wine and stock. Bring the mixture to the boil and stir in the cream.. Reduce to a simmer, cook the mixture for 15 minutes, check the seasoning and allow to cool in the fridge. Once cooled, stir in the shredded chicken meat and set aside.

8) Make the glaze quickly by mixing the egg yolk and milk together.

9) Take the pastry from the fridge and spoon the cooked chicken mixture into the base and cover with pastry top. Crimp and seal the edges. Brush glaze and make a pattern if you wish. If pastry warms in this process put back into the fridge for 5 minutes. Remove from the fridge and place in a 200°C preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and is cooked through.  Serve with a side salad for a tasty lunch.


Sour Cream Pastry


125ml sour cream
250g plain flour
200g unsalted butter chilled

1) To make the pastry, dice the butter, then pulse with the flour in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2) Add the sour cream and continue to pulse until the dough starts to incorporate into a ball.

3) Wrap the dough in plastic film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Roll the chilled pastry out until 3 mm thick and cut to suit your chosen recipe.



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