A great chicken pie recipe is always good to hang on to as part of my arsenal as a busy cook and this is my go-to recipe when I take time to make my own shortcrust pastry (the featured recipe below is only for savoury pies). Few pet peeves are as severe as commercial shortcrust pastry! And few things could annoy me in my kitchen more than when I forget to plan ahead for a pie. For the rare occasions I’ve had to put up with store bought shortcrust pastry which I quite abhor, I found myself sinking in massive regret—-that I’ve wasted all my lovely pie ingredients. It’s a little like putting all your ‘Oomph’ into the ‘Blah’. Making your own shortcrust pastry is more work but soul food is slow food most of the time, as we all know.
A tip to save time would be to use a ready-roasted chicken and frozen cubed vegetables for the filling. That way you’ll not need to compromise on the quality of your shortcrust pastry given the little time you have. I use the frozen vegetables often not to save time but rather to make my pie a well-balanced meal : ) I also love to put any leftover filling into little ramekins topped with puff pastry for the kids. Other times, rather than put up with terrible-tasting commercial shortcrust pastry, instead of constructing a whole pie, I’d use the ramekins to serve my ‘pie’ as entrée. Which is how I came to name this recipe ‘Chicken Pot Pie’. Have a lovely week : )
Chicken Pot Pie:
50 g butter
6-8 chicken thigh fillets, chopped roughly into small cubes
Short cut bacon rashers, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
200g portobello mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 whole large eggs, poached
1 leek, sliced into rounds
1 spanish onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced finely
120g all purpose flour
2 C skim milk
1/2 C pouring cream
1 TB chicken bouillon powder
2 sprigs spring onions, chopped finely
1 sheet ready-made puff pastry
1 sheet ready-made short-crust pastry or the following recipe for #homemade:
Round pie tin (I used 10” tin)
1 large egg yolk (for egg wash)
Directions for Chicken Pot Pie
Marinade the chopped chicken thigh with seasoning of salt and pepper overnight. Poach 3 whole eggs.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet, sauté bacon bits. Push to one side of pan, add some butter and sauté the following:leeks and onions with garlic till fragrant. Add mushrooms and fry till cooked through. Add the chicken pieces and fry till done. In a smaller saucepan, add the flour and whisk in the milk to thicken. Heat on low till simmering slightly. Stir through the pouring cream and chicken bouillon powder and turn off the heat. The texture should be creamy and thick. Add this thickened mixture to the pan of chicken. Add spring onions and a squeeze of lemon juice if preferred (optional). Quarter the poached eggs and mix in with the chicken mixture. Set aside to cool completely before filling shortcrust pastry.
#Homemade Shortcrust Pastry (for savoury pies and tarts)
500g all-purpose flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder (sifted)
120g butter, cold and diced into cubes
salt to taste
2 to 3 TB iced water
Directions for Homemade Shortcrust Pastry:
Add flour, cold cubes of butter and salt into a food processor to pulse into a mixture that resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add enough iced water to form a smooth dough and process till well combined. Knead the dough slightly. Sandwich the dough between two pieces of baking paper an roll to flatten into a flat circular disc that overlaps the size of your round baking tin. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or more. Once ready out of the fridge, roll out the pastry onto lightly floured surface between baking paper sheets to about 3mm thick. Carefully lift above the tin and then line your baking tin. Press towards the edges to line the base and edges. Cling wrap it and stick it in the fridge again to firm it up. This will take another 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove tin from fridge, now spoon over completely cooled creamed chicken filling. Top up with ready-made puff pastry. Crimp the edges away using your fingers, running it downwards across the edges pressed against the scalloped edges of your tin to seal. Using a fork, pierce the tops of the pie with holes to let steam escape during the baking process. Using a brush, brush over the top of the puff pastry with the egg wash.
Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees or until the top is a lovely golden brown.