Friday, May 7, 2010

Oooh-lah lah - chicken and vegetable pie

This recipe comes from 'Real Living' magazine. I've changed it a little, but then I tend to do that to a recipe. The original also said you could use the meat from a BBQ chook but I thought it was easier just cooking some chopped up thigh fillets rather than trying to cut all the meat off a chicken. See what you think.
I always feel a little bit French when I make this dish. I'm not sure if it's the leeks together with the chicken and butter or maybe it's the pastry. Who knows? It's just something that flashes through my mind while I'm cooking it. I usually serve this pie with mash potato and peas. If I add a little less flour to the dish the sauce doesn't go as thick; this mixed with the mash potato on your plate is heaven. But you don't have to. It's up to you. It is much easier to portion up when the sauce is thicker, especially when you are serving guests. You can see the delicious mess in my photo!

The list of stuff:
3 Tablespoons butter
2 leeks, sliced thinly
1 - 2 sticks of celery, sliced thinly
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced thinly
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 cup chicken stock
200g button mushrooms, cut in half
600 - 700g chicken thighs, cut into uniform bite size pieces
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 - 4 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry (depending on the size of your pie dish)
1 egg, beaten lightly to brush the top of the pie. (I don't usually bother but it's up to you.)

Have everything chopped and ready to go. Don't take out your pastry just yet as the filling needs to cool for about 20 mins.
In a frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and cook mushrooms until golden. Meanwhile, in a seperate, smaller saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and cook leeks, celery and carrot, until softened.
Add the chicken to the mushrooms and cook through.
Add the flour to the leeks, celery and carrot and cook stirring for 2 mins then chuck in the chicken stock. Heat until thickened.
When the chicken is ready add the vegetables, mix to combine and season with salt and pepper. Throw in your parsley and stir through.Cover with a lid or tea-towel and Set aside to cool. Take out your pastry. Allow at least 20 mins for it to defrost so it will be flexible enough for you to use.

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Line your pie dish with a sheet of pastry, allowing a lip around the edges. Pop in your slightly cooled chicken mixture. Then top with pastry, crimping the edges to seal and cut a few slits in the top, allowing the steam to escape. Bake for 45 mins until lovely and golden. Sit for 5 mins (if you can wait that long!) then serve.

Serves 4 people with just the pie or about 6 with the mash potato and peas.

The best pies I have ever tasted are from 'Hayden's Pies' in Ulladulla on the New South Wales South Coast. They are all heavenly! If you are ever in the area, I can't reccomend them enough. And 'Jasper Peel' bakery too for awesome pizzas, breads and sweets.....It's a Foodie's paradise!

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