Melanie's Food Adventures

Anniversary Chicken Pie

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It was our sixteenth wedding anniversary at the end of August, which I still can scarcely believe! I can remember everything so clearly about the day, including, unfortunately, my hair. I hated what had been done to it, and no matter how much I tried to squash it back down to how it should normally look like, the obscene amount of hairspray prevented it shifting in anything bar a force 10 gale!! They say your wedding day is one of the happiest days of your life, and it was…. and sixteen years later we were spending the day sorting out life insurance then going to a soft play centre with Wee Food Adventurer….Ahhhhhh, who said romance was dead, eh? We’ve never taken ourselves or life seriously, even our wedding cake topper was Homer & Marge Simpson, and so when Mr Food Adventurer was asked to go on a golfing weekend a few months back there were no dramas upon discovering that it was the weekend of our anniversary. We’ve never been one for presents to celebrate the day, but I did ask him what he’d like me to cook for him the night before he left…… and his answer was a pie….

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So, off I went looking for pie recipes and plumped for one by Mr Jamie Oliver from his Save with Jamie cookbook. I like Jamie’s no-nonsense style of cooking (his patter, however, I’d could do without!) and his simple yet effective recipes. This is a great recipe to use up left over chicken from your Sunday Roast and turn it into something you’d love to eat midweek instead of using it up in sandwiches or feeding it to the cat 🙂

INGREDIENTS (serves 6)

For the Pastry

125g Unsalted Butter (straight from the fridge)

250g Plain Flour  (sifted)

Pinch of Salt

4tbsp Water

1 Egg (for eggwash)

 

For the Chicken Stew Filling

Approx 300g of left over Chicken from your roast

4 Rashers of Smoked Streaky Bacon

Olive Oil

2 Onions

3 Large Carrots

2 Potatoes

Sprigs of Fresh Thyme

2 Bay Leaves (fresh or dried)

1tbsp Plain Flour (heaped)

1ltr Chicken Stock (use 2 stockcubes with hot water or use the carcass – details in Hints and Tips)


METHOD

  1. Tear your chicken into strips and set aside.
  2. Finely slice your Smoked Streaky Bacon and place into a large casserole pan over a medium heat with a glug of Olive Oil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Peel and chop your 2 Onions, 3 Large Carrots and 2 Potatoes into 2cm pieces. Chopping them all the same size will allow them to all cook at the same rate.
  4. Add all these to the pan along with a few sprigs of Fresh Thyme and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
  5. Now add your chicken and a heaped tablespoon of Plain Flour and stir until well combined before adding the 1ltr of Chicken Stock.
  6. Allow to simmer for approximately 40 minutes until gloriously thick (this may take longer than 40 minutes so don’t panic. Remember, it will continue to thicken after you’ve turned off the heat). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. While the stew is cooking you can prepare your pastry. Place 125g Cold Unsalted Butter, 250g of Plain Flour and a Pinch of Salt into a food processor and pulse until combined. Now add 4tbsp of Water and pulse again until the dough begins to come together. Remove from the processor and form the dough into a ball before wrapping in clingfilm and placing into the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat your oven to 190°c / 170° fan / 375°f / Gas Mark 5 and place your chicken stew into a baking dish (approx. 25cm x 30cm) and brush Eggwash around the sides of the dish.
  9. Roll your dough out on a lightly floured surface and then gently place on top of your dish. Ensure the edges are sealed properly by pinching the edges, before scoring the centre and brushing with Eggwash.
  10. Place into your oven and bake for around 30 minutes, or until golden and cooked all the way through. If you have pre-made the stew section, and it is cold, then allow around 40 minutes for it to bake.
  11. Serve with potatoes of your choice and greens, enjoy!

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Hints and Tips

  1. If you want to make your chicken stock from scratch (and use up the carcass) then place the carcass and any bones you may have into a pan and smush them up with a rolling pin before covering with 1ltr of water. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes, skimming off ay scum that comes to the surface. Pour your stock through a fine sieve before using.
  2. If you are short of time, then pre-packed puff or shortcrust pastry will work just as well.
  3. Use up your excess pastry to decorate the top of your pie. I used a small cookie cutter to make stars (one for each year we’ve been married!) but you could use letters to spell something out or any other shape you fancy!

Melanie, Food Adventurer

 

 

 

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