Thursday, January 21, 2010

Adventures in Cooking - Chicken, Leek and Celery Pie

Last night I wanted something quick and easy to make, so I pulled out my Australian Women's Weekly cookbook Eating Together: Bringing Families Back to the Table. I'm a big fan of things that can be prepared and cooked in one hour or less, but aren't lacking in substance. 

Ick, I sound like I'm on a lifestyle show. 
So, I decided to make a damn pie. 
There, that's better.

Okay, so: 
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
600grams chicken breast fillets, diced (I used 2 large-ish ones)
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
40grams butter
1 large leek (sliced thinly)
2 stalks celery (chopped finely)
2 or 3 button mushrooms (sliced thinly)
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup cream
2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
2 sheets shortcrust pasty 
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg yolk

Total prep and cooking time: about 1 hour


Pour the chicken stock in a medium or large saucepan and bring it to the boil. Put the chicken in the stock and return it to the boil.

Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 or 15 minutes (basically until the chicken is cooked through).

Once it's cooked through, remove the chicken from the stock and let it cool in a bowl. Hang on to the chicken stock because you'll need it later on.

Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan.

Add the leek and celery to the saucepan and stir. 

Let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until the leek and celery have softened (about 10 minutes or so).

Once they have softened, throw the mushrooms in.

Oooh, steamy.....

Stir them in and let it simmer on a low heat for a few minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.

Add the flour and thyme to the veggie mix and stir it in for about a minute.

It will start to look like a gluggy paste, but don't worry, that's totally normal.

Stir in 1/3 of a cup of the chicken stock from earlier (I ended up adding a bit more because it didn't seem liquidy enough), along with the milk and cream. Turn the heat up a bit and stir the liquids in until they thicken.

Mine thickened up in a matter of minutes, so don't turn your back on it. Add the chicken and mustard and stir it through thoroughly. Remove from the heat and let it cool for ten minutes.

Preheat your oven to about 160 degrees celsius.

Grease a pie dish (I don't have a ceramic one, so I just used a metal pie dish that's about 10cm deep).

Line the base and sides of the dish with the shortcrust pastry - I used Pampas because I am not organised enough to make my own. Get a fork and prick the pastry all over, then pop it in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until it's golden brown.

Now, this looks really messy, but I didn't have a square of pastry big enough to cover the whole thing, so I had to use one bit to cover the bottom, them cut the other bit in strips to line the sides. Then I smooshed the side bits down into the base so it became one piece when it cooked.

Ok. Now get the chicken mixture from the stove and spoon it into the pastry lined pie dish evenly, making sure it spreads right up to the sides.

Cover it with the puff pastry and brush its surface with the egg yolk.

If you have any left over pastry you can cut out a few shapes with a cookie cutter, but some may find that too cutesy. It's up to you. Don't forget to cut two or three small slits in the top of the pastry.

Chuck it in the oven for about twenty minutes. Mine actually cooked really quickly in about ten minutes, but I think this is because I used a thin metal pan. Plus, keep in mind that the mixture in the middle will still be warm, so I would advise checking it after about ten minutes. If the top is getting really brown, pull it out because it's done.

Cut out a slice and serve it with a bit of salad.

Et voila!

Pin It

No comments: