Chicken Pie Mark 2
After my first watery chicken pie disaster I've been reluctant to subject the girlies to a second
round, but seeing as how I have a lot of spare chicken since I had to roast one up because I need the bones to make
to make gravy
for Christmas dinner
, I'm going in....
First time I attempted a chicken and leek pie with the girls I left the fried shredded leeks and onions whole,
and just covered them with cream and milk, without mixing this up into a roux. Damn those internet recipes.
This curdled during cooking and the resulting stringy, runny mess totally alarmed the girlies,
who don't like to see too much of what they're eating.
We also made the mistake of making our own pastry, which was fun, but took all bloody evening.
This time I decided to try blending all those nasty vegetables away so as not to spook the horses,
to make a really
thick roux to make damn sure the sauce is going to thicken,
and cheat outrageously by buying the pastry ready made.
It would have helped if I'd bought enough pastry to line the dish as well as making a top,
but we made do by blind-baking the offcuts from shaping the pie top which almost covered the
bottom of the pie dish.
Personally I like the way pastry gets soggy with pie juices,
but you could always skip the base if you think soggy pies are gross.
You can serve with boiled potatoes and the lemony carrots Ricard
if you don't want the girlies to eat any, or with a nice winter salad
if you are desperately trying to make room in your belly for Christmas.
Chicken Ham and Leek Pie
main meat fowl
Serves Eight Eldoradoes
1 roast chicken, meat shredded
½ lb ham, thick-sliced, cut into pieces
4 cloves garlic, sliced
6 mushrooms, sliced
1 pint milk
4 Tablespoons cream
3-4 Tablespoons plain flour
1-2 teaspoons mustard
salt. Plenty of salt.
2 packs puff pastry
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7/220°C.
Line a large pie dish with the puff pastry and bake the dish blind
(you probably don't need to use baking beans as the puff pastry seems to stay down pretty well) for 15 minutes
or until the pastry puffs and starts to turn golden.
Don't bake it too dark or it will be difficult to scoop the pie off the bottom of the dish.
Meanwhile sweat the leeks, onions and garlic in butter until they soften,
then add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they start to shrink.
When the vegetables are cooked through, add enough milk to blend this mixture and purée the fuck out of it to
completely disguise all those horrible vegetables, especially the mushrooms,
which no one likes.
Shred all the meat off a medium roast chicken and cut up the ham into bite-sized pieces.
Melt another four tablespoons of butter and add around 4 tablespoons or so of plain flour,
fry it up until it begins to colour, then gradually add milk, whisking to make a nice roux.
When you have a reasonable paste, next time start adding the vegetable purée
and continue whisking in until all the purée is used up,
adjusting the consistency with extra milk as necessary.
Add the shredded chicken and ham pieces,
a teaspoon or two of english mustard (I considered using Dijon,
but I was rather afraid the horrible "bits" might scare the girlies) to taste,
and finish off with a generous slop of double cream.
Season with plenty
of sea salt
Reduce the oven to Gas 4-5 (180-190°C).
Fill the pie dish with this mixture and cover with the remaining puff pastry sheet.
have bought enough pastry, of course).
Bake until golden on top (you can glaze with milk or beaten egg
if the girlies haven't yet lost interest and wandered off to play on their Wii)
for 30-45 minutes whilst you ruin
½ red cabbage, thinly sliced
4 sticks celery, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
½ dozen gherkins, thinly sliced
dozen green olives, pitted, halved
small pack mangetout, sliced diagonally into pieces
4 carrots, grated
red chillies, seeded, sliced
thyme (or other fresh herbs - tarragon might be nice)
thick-cut smoked bacon slices
3 cloves garlic, sliced
juice of 2 limes
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons capers
Slice your vegetables
Cut the bacon in to strips and fry them until they start to crisp up.
Throw in the sliced garlic towards the end of the frying to colour.
Dry this on kitchen paper and mix with the other salad ingredients,
adding the cheese last so it doesn't break up too much.
Process the garlic, olives, capers and gherkins with the lemon juice,
then whizz in the olive oil to make a thick pungent dressing and season.
Dress the salad and serve on the rocket.
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