Note – I’m not sure why I’m keeping this semi-anonymous (especially now I have my name and photo in the About section), and I’m getting a bit bored of it, so I’m going to stop referring to my fiancé as Mr Chilli and instead call him Dave, which is his name.
We’re not eating in tonight – we’re off to celebrate Dave’s brother & sister’s birthday with them (they’re twins) so everyone’s chipping in for a takeaway. Since I’m not cooking, I thought I might as well post about the chicken pie I made last weekend.
I do prefer chicken pie made with a thicker creamier bechamel type sauce but this simple cider and cream version was quite nice as well. I usually use leftover cooked chicken for pies and supplement with mushrooms, sweetcorn and/or leeks (didn’t have any leeks in this time). I keep bringing it up, but again I used the leftover cooked meat you get when making stock out of a chicken carcass. We had quite a lot this time – 350g or so – so it made four portions of pie, two of which I froze for this weekend.
When it comes to the pastry, I make it by hand, but if you have warm hands or a heavy touch, you might want to use a food processor.
Shortcrust pastry (makes around 150g)
This is a standard shortcrust recipe which I’ve made loads of times. Think I got the original recipe from BBC Food, but my quantities seem to have evolved to be slightly different, now I look back at it.
- 110g plain flour
- 55g butter or baking fat, or can use half lard if you want
- Pinch salt
Sift the flour into a large bowl, cut the butter into small cubes and mix together, rubbing through your fingertips very lightly until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add water, a teaspoonful at a time, mixing in first with a knife then with your fingers. You only need a few spoonfuls of water so go slowly. When the pastry makes a ball that sticks together, wrap in cling film and chill for half an hour or more until ready to make the pie.
Chicken pie (serves four)
- roughly 350g cooked chicken, cut up into chunks or shredded
- 175g mushrooms, finely sliced
- 100g frozen sweetcorn
- Glassful of cider or white wine, or a little chicken stock (I used the end bit of a cider bottle that had gone flat)
- Couple of tablespoons of single or double cream
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 150-200g shortcrust pastry
Heat the oil in a pan and cook the mushrooms, stirring, for a few minutes until wilted and tender. Add the cider or stock and bubble away for ten minutes or so until reduced. Add the sweetcorn and cook for another two minutes. Add the chicken and cream and season very well. Allow the filling to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Split the pastry into two balls, one smaller and one bigger, and roll out the larger into a thin round. use to line the bottom and sides of a pie dish (I actually used a sandwich tin). Top with the filling, roll out the smaller ball and use this round to cover the top. Use a fork to seal the edges and poke a couple of holes in the top, then trim the edges – you can roll the scraps into a ball and freeze for another time. Brush with a little milk for a brown crust.
Variations – you can add leeks instead of/as well as the other veg, or something like spinach might be nice; a lot of people like a little bacon or pancetta added; some wholegrain mustard would also be nice in the sauce.
I served with carrots, potatoes and green beans. I also put out some chutneys but next time I’d do a gravy or sauce as it was a little on the dry side.