Inspired by marveline, here is my first in an occasional series of recipes:
Chicken and Leek Pie
You will need:
- 2-3 chicken breasts
- 1 leek
- A handful of mushrooms
- Packet puff pastry
- Some white wine
- Garlic/Tarragon if you like it
- Chicken stock cube
- Big pot or wok
- pie dish
- rolling pin (if you don’t have a rolling pin, use the wine bottle before you open it)
- pastry brush (or your fingers)
This should be enough to serve 4 polite people or 2 troughers.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge now, or you’ll regret it later. Leave it near where you are cooking so it softens up a bit.
- Take the chicken and cut up into cubes. Some more accomplished chefs might call these “bite size morsels”.
- Take your leek and cut up into round slices.
- Take a couple of mushrooms and slice those bad boys up into small chunks.
- Heat a tiny splash of oil in your pot.
- Chuck in the leeks and stir them up a bit til they start to go soft.
- Add a bit of garlic if you like that sort of thing.
- I also add tarragon at this point, but only if you like it (some people, inexplicably, don’t).
- Chuck in the chicken and make it go white.
- Add the mushrooms.
- Crumble in a chicken stock cube.
- Once all this looks like it’s browned, splash a bit of white wine in there, maybe a wine glass full.
- It will look a bit runny, but stick with me here. Stir it all up and then leave it to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until most of the wine/stock has been absorbed.
- Whilst this is happening, you could go and watch telly, have a dance round the living room to one of the many hits of Wham! or you could be sensible and get the pastry ready.
- Put the oven on to about 180 degrees or so.
- Get your dish you are going to put the pie in and roll out your pastry so it’s the same rough shape but a bit bigger round the edges.
- If you want to add cream to make your sauce creamy, add a few dribbles now.
- Once the pie filling (that’s the chicken and stuff, dullard) is ready, stick it all in your pie dish and then even it out.
- Lay on the pastry and crimp the edges on to the edge of the pie dish. If you’re a fancy pants, you could score a pattern in the top of the pastry, perhaps a trellis effect, a loved one’s name, or an etching of a stoat in flight. Put 2 little vents in the middle with your sharpest knife for the steam to escape.
- Stand back and cast a loving eye over your pie, as it were. Then grab a mug an egg and a fork. Your partner may look at you with a worried expression, but ignore this, it will pass. Crack the egg in the cup and beat it up a bit with the fork.
- If you have a pastry brush (and if you’re married, you will inevitably have 4 of the blighters), brush on the egg mixture on your pastry. If you have no pastry brush, just pour it on and kind of smear it all over the pastry with your fingers. It has the same effect and is one less thing to wash up. Make sure you get all the pastry covered so it goes that nice shiny way in the oven.
- Put your pie on a baking tray before you put it in the oven. Now, I am not the sort of person to follow that sort of order in conventional recipes, but trust me, my friend – your pie WILL spill over the sides of the dish and you don’t want to be cleaning charred pie remnants off your cooker from now til Christmas.
- The pie will take about 15 minutes or so to cook – just look and when it looks nice and brown and your pastry has puffed up nicely, then it’s ready. If you like your pastry soggy, then obviously take it out a bit earlier. If it’s black and smells funky, you’ve left it in too long. If you do encounter this, place the entire dish in the bin and head to the chip shop.
I serve my pie (ooh la la) with potatoes of some sort, possibly croquettes, and sweetcorn.