Sunday 25 May 2014

Saturday 24th May - recipes for father and son - chicken pie

This is a favourite...

I've always like the M and S roast chicken pies (not to be confused with ordinary chicken pies - there is a difference)

This is my version.

You need the pickings from a roast chicken, some vegetables like onion or leek, carrot and frozen peas, stock, flour, and pastry.

Let's start with the filling; no, let's consider when you are going to eat the pie, because if you are going to have it straight away, you need to set the oven to 200C!

Now, the filling; sweat the diced veg in plenty of butter, then add flour, hot stock and seasoning to make a thickish sort of gravy or thinnish sort of sauce. Quantities are harder to give, as it depends on what you have. For four people, I used a leek, two carrots, a tablespoon of butter, and once all that lot was looking softened, I added a tablespoon of plain flour to take up the liquid and stirred it in , and then added enough hot liquid stock to make the gravy. I added a spoonful of Dijon mustard and mixed herbs. If a bottle of white wine, or some cream, had been open, I might have used some.

Now, if you are planning to eat the chicken pie straight away, add your bits of cooked chicken, adjust the seasoning and carry on. If you want to eat the pie later on, and keep it in the fridge for a day or the freezer for a month, then you have to wait until the sauce is cold before you add the chicken, and the pastry top. We had the pickings from a supermarket chicken and veg tray bake we were given (that's another story) which had three little drumsticks and two thighs.

Pastry; I like using suet pastry - it is the easiest ever to make. For the four of us, to cover a shallow dish a bit smaller than an A4 piece of paper, I used six ounces of self raising flour, 3 ounces of Atora suet, a good pinch of salt, some grindings of black pepper and a tablespoon of mixed dried herbs. You want the pastry to taste good! Mix this lot up in a bowl, and then I added 5 handfuls of cold water - I've got small hands, remember. What I do is let the cold tap run, and then fill up my hand and throw the water into the bowl. It might be an idea to use less water at first, and see how you get on. The idea is to mix it all together, lightly, don't squish it, until it forms a ball which isn't too tacky.

I floured a chopping board with SR flour, and gently worked the pastry into a rectangle the same size as my dish, like you would pull and push a pizza base.

Tip the filling into the dish, top with the pastry (I managed to go "floop" with the board and the lid landed perfectly in place). Push the edges of the pastry against the sides of the dish, and tuck any excess down inside as well. You could do the brush with egg or milk bit, to make it shiny, but I just made a couple of holes on the top, placed the whole thing on a baking tray (sometimes the filling climbs out of the dish and then makes a mess of the bottom of the oven) and baked it for 30 mins.

I didn't bother with potatoes as the suet crust is very filling.

If I'd known that Number 1 son wanted me to blog the recipe, I'd have taken a picture of the very pretty pie before I dished it up. Here is BB's portion on his plate.

 There were no leftovers.

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