Monday, 9 June 2008
One of the Lovely Wife's favourite dishes is Chicken Pie. In fact, it was a challenge from her that spurred me to make my own Chicken Pie. Most of the restaurants we have eaten at serve Chicken Pot Pies where the pie is served in a bowl and covered with puff pastry on top. My wife prefers a complete pie with pastry at the bottom as well. Not one to resist a challenge, I came up with this recipe and she now rates this as one of her favourites.
A couple of weeks ago, we invited her cousin and his wife over for dinner. She suggested that I make Chicken Pie as she was sure that it would be something that would be well liked. Whenever I make pie, I usually make enough for two 9" pies, as Chicken Pie is lovely eaten as leftovers.
All went well when suddenly we realised that one of my pie plates was in my Mother-in-Laws house. I quickly decided that I would try and make mini Chicken Pies using ramekins. That actually turned out quite nicely as now each person had his own personal pie. The kids loved that they had their own individual pies too!
Usually, I use shortcrust pastry for the base and Puff Pastry for the top. However, this time, as a cost saving measure, I just used Puff pastry for the base and top. It turned out well!
This is my recipe for Chicken Pie
1 sheet frozen Puff Pastry
1 sheet frozen Shortcrust Pastry
400 gm Boneless Chicken Breast
250 gm Fresh Button Mushrooms
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Large Carrots
250 gm fresh Spinach (or use frozen if you like)
200 ml Cream
½ Tsp Black Pepper
½ tbsp Corn Flour
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Oregano
2 Bay Leaves
½ tsp Rosemary
8 Rashers Bacon (optional)
Line bottom of 9” pie dish with shortcrust pastry. Trim edges and use to cover open areas of dish and line edges of dish. Bake Blind in pre-heated 190oC Oven for about 15 minutes. (Baking Blind means covering the pastry with baking parchment / greaseproff paper and filling the shell with rice or beans to prevent the pastry from rising. Baking blind ensures that the bottom layer stays firm and doesn’t get soggy once the filling is put in.) Remove and let cool.
While shell is baking, Cut chicken into small squares. Mix 1/2 tbsp corn flour with pepper and salt. Add in Chicken and mix well so that chicken pieces are coated. Let rest.
Meanwhile, slice mushrooms thinly, cut carrots and potatoes into squares. Heat oil in pan. Add in chopped garlic, Oregano, Bay leaves and Rosemary and fry lightly till fragrant. Add in Chicken and cook well. Add in bacon if using and cook well.
Add in Mushroom and cook till mushrooms are tender. Add in Potatoes and Carrots and simmer. Add in Cream. Mix well and simmer uncovered. Add in chopped spinach and mix well. Continue to simmer until mixture is thick and potatoes, carrots and spinach are all cooked. Mix a little corn flour with water and add to the mixture (if required) to make it thicker. Allow to cool.
Fill shell with Chicken filling, taking care to fill evenly to corners and sides. Ensure that filling is COOL before filling pie. Cover with sheet of Puff Pastry. Moisten edges of pastry with water and press down firmly. Using a butter knife, trim the sides, cutting upwards. This helps the pastry from separating while baking.
Using left over pastry, decorate top of pie with pastry shapes. Beat the egg lightly and brush top and edges of pie. Bake in a Pre-Heated 220C Oven on the middle tray for at least 20 minutes or until pastry has risen and is golden brown.
Serve Hot and Enjoy!