“Chicken Pie, country ham, homemade butter on the bread”, is what John Denver sings about in his song “Grandma’s Featherbed” and although John is no longer with us and most young people do not have a cooking clue who I am talking about, I cannot help humming this tune every time I make a chicken pie. Trust me, this chicken Pie was worth humming about……
This chicken pie is slightly different in that I roast the chicken and the vegetables first and then combine it to make this rustic and flavorful pie. When making pies, there are two main things to consider:
– What pastry will you be using?
– The filling must be moist and well seasoned and bold in flavor.
Let’s talk about the pastry first. For me a chicken pie should have a flaky, light as a feather puff pastry. If you have never attempted making your own puff pastry, try this recipe . It is kind of a mock puff pastry, it does create some flaky layers, but then when you are confident enough, move on to the real puff pastry! You can also try your hand at making this delicious Sour Cream Pastry.
However, when you are pushed for time, buy some puff pastry, but make sure it is the best.
On to the filling, first the chicken
6 chicken breasts – with bone and skin
2 sticks celery
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp fine cloves
sprig of rosemary
1 x 250 gr cream cheese
Use your mortar and pestle to grind the garlic, salt, cloves, pepper and fresh herbs. Add the oil and make a paste, Rub the herb mixture all over the chicken breasts and place them in a oven-proof dish. Cut the vegetables in chunks and place around the chicken. Roast the chicken for about 30-40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan juices, cut in chunks and remove all skin and bones. Strain the liquid that is in the bottom of the pan and place in a pot . Bring to the boil and cook until you have about 250ml reduced stock. Take off the heat and add the cream cheese. Taste for seasoning and add the chicken and roasted vegetables. This is how you roast the vegetables…
2 large zucchini
2 red onions
about 250gr butternut
a few glugs of good balsamic vinegar
Cut the vegetables in even sized chunks(about the size of a crouton). Mix with the seasoning, herbs and oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven with the chicken until cooked and slightly charred.
Let your chicken and vegetable mix cool down and then spoon it in your pie dish. Roll out your puff pastry and cut to desired size. Brush the rim of your pie dish with egg white and place the pastry lid on top of the chicken. Crimp the edge of the pastry to make a pattern and brush pastry with egg wash. Make a little whole in the middle for the steam to escape and bake at 200C until the puff pastry has puffed up nicely and is golden brown.
Try any of my other pie recipes….