Sunday, 8 August 2010

Chicken Pie!

Pie is not often on the menu in our house due to my husband's wheat avoidance. He was reacting to wheat and has avoided it for around 8 years but recently, has eaten some things with wheat in and not suffered any reaction so he has been widening the range of foods he now eats.

I have really wanted to make a chicken pie for a while so last weekend, I bought some ready rolled pastry. I don't generally do pastry and most recipes just recommend buying it, so that's what I did. I hunted around for a decent recipe and found this on the BBC Good Food website, which is a source I use quite a lot for simple but nice recipes.

I liked this because it included vegetables so it meant everything cooked together. We actually just had mash with this - I was running out of time to do veg, the children were "helping" me, I decided to make it today quite late on and that required a quick trip to the supermarket. This would be great made with leftover roast chicken as you start with cooked chicken.

Crumbly Chicken & Vegetable Pie
Serves 4-6 (you'd have to be pretty hungry for it to serve 4)

1 onion
40g butter
100g button mushrooms
40g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
400ml milk, warmed
1 chicken stock cube or 400ml fresh chicken stock
pinch nutmeg
pinch mustard powder
1 bay leaf
250g cooked chicken
200g mix of vegetables - sweetcorn, peas, carrots, broccoli, peppers chopped or any veg you have
250g shortcrust pastry
1 egg beaten or milk, for glazing

1. Heat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 4. Peel the onion and chop as finely as possible. Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and leave to cook for about 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Finely slice the mushrooms and add to the pan.

2. When the mushrooms and onions are nearly cooked, add the flour to the pan and stir to make a roux. Crumble in the stock cube and stir well for 2 minutes to cook out the flour.

3. Slowly add the milk to the pan, stirring all the time. (I didn't warm the milk and it didn't seem to matter). Then add the stock, season and add the nutmeg and mustard powder. (It doesn't mention what to do if you're using the stock cube, so I just used more milk to get the right consistency) Add the bay leaf and bring to the boil, stirring all the time to stop it becoming lumpy.

4. When the sauce has thickened, place on a very low heat. Chop the chicken into even sized pieces and add to the sauce. Stir in the veg and pour into the pie dish. (I used a deep but small lasagne dish).

5. Put the pastry on a clean, floured surface. Dust a rolling pin with flour and roll out the pastry until just a bit bigger than the pie dish. Lift the pastry onto the dish. Trim the edges hanging over the edges. Press the outside edge of the pastry with your fingers or a fork.

6. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg or milk. Make a small hole in the centre to allow steam to escape. Left over pastry can be used can be used to decorate the top. Place the pie in the oven for 25 mins. It will be done when the top is golden brown.

I made a few changes to this. We got a bay leaf from the garden as we have a tree but then it disappeared. So I added some chopped fresh tarragon as it is a favourite of mine. And because I had ready rolled shortcrust, I just unrolled it and put it on the top of the pie dish and it just about fitted. No faffing with rolling pins - result! (Why am I so bad at rolling out pastry and how do I get better at it? Answers on a postcard.) The veg I used were - peas, sweetcorn, carrots, and courgettes.

The children were very excited when I told them I was making pie. Missy Woo butchered the mushrooms and the courgettes for me. Then she had a go at peeling potatoes as did Monkey - and he got very good at it. That's one more job I don't have to do! And then they devoured the pie with enthusiasm. The carrots were quite crunchy so I think they need to be cut up quite small - or you could use leftover cooked ones. I loved the tarragon flavour, and no-one else complained about it and it was lovely and creamy.

It would definitely feed 6 people easily. This is most definitely NOT a small pie and the veg helps to bulk it out. I have to admit, I always thought that making a pie was more difficult than it was for some reason. I guess ones with a pastry base probably are but this was very simple. And everyone just loves pie, don't they?

I did take another pic of the pie cut open but on looking at it, it's not very good quality so you'll have to make do with just the pic of the finished pie as it came out of the oven. Yes, I know - my food blogging is very amateurish but I never said I was a professional, did I?! Trust me when I say this was good, and you should try it too.


  1. Looks delish...I will have to try it! x Jazzy

  2. Thanks Jazzy, let me know how it goes for you!


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