Sunday, 9 October 2011

chicken and mushroom pie

I am a great lover of books, all kinds of books.  I couldn't read a word until I was well over 7.  In fact I remember my teacher saying I would never read.  Then one day I picked up one of my Mums books and read it cover to cover understanding it all.  Since then I was hooked.  I love the library but I hate giving books back to library.  Some women buy shoes for me it's all about the books.  Cook books generally outnumber my other books. I tend to read and get ideas from cookbooks, but earlier in year decided to actually start following recipes.  I tend to follow baking recipes but improvise on others more.

One of my books I have bought this year was Ross Dobsons Grillhouse gastropub at home. I have made a few things out of here already and was impressed.  This week I decided with the cool weather starting a pie was what was needed. so chicken and mushroom pot pies on page 125 seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

All in all a very easy pie to make.  I went shopping and sure enough despite making a shopping list forgot something, a leek, so subbed for onion  and it was still fantastic.

500g mixed mushrooms ( I used forestiere ( something like that) and button mushrooms I had in fridge)
80g butter
1teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves
1 clove garlic finely chopped
400 g skinless boneless chicken thighs cut in bit sized bits
1 leek, white part only halved lengthwise and chopped
35g plain flour
250ml chicken stock ( I used a knorr stock pot jelly thing)
250ml cream ( bought to small a pot so made up with milk and worked great)
5g chopped flat leaf parsley
1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg lightly beaten

big list yes but believe me when I say was worth it!

trim the stems from the mushrooms ( save the stems for when you make a soup) and roughly chop in big chunks, leave small ones whole.

heat half the butter in a large frying pan on a high heat.  When sizzling add mushrooms, thyme and garlic, shaking the pan for around 5 mins or until mushrooms soften and start turning brown.

It's at this point I am forcing myself not to eat all the mushrooms because I love them.  Remove mushrooms when they get to this stage and add rest of the butter and when sizzling, add half the chicken for 2-3 minutes a side or until golden all over.  Remove with slotted spoon and place with mushrooms and repeat with rest of chicken. At this point you need to reduce the heat to medium and add the leek, onion like me if you forgot it or don;t have it/like it, and stir scraping the bottom of the pan and stirring for a few minutes to remove any bits from bottom of the pan. Then you can return mushrooms and chicken to the pan with any juices and stir for a few minutes.

 Then we get to the point it could look as if it's all going wrong and kids start asking 'where's my tea?' sprinkle in the flour and stir until it all starts coming together and kind of looks clumpy.  Add the stock gradually, stirring until thick and well combined.  Think of a white sauce but using stock instead of milk. Then you can stir in the cream, or cream and milk, and parsley and reduce the heat to low. Just for 2-3 minutes or until thickened.  Taste and season if you feel it needs it.  At this point we were deciding if we really wanted to wait long enough to make the mixture into a pie!
 It's not the most interesting or exciting looking filling but it is amazing taste wise. at this point you can spoon it into 4 individual pie ramekins or one big pie dish.  I took half the mixture and put in a small pie dish as there were just 2 of us eating that night.  Leave it to go cool.
 Preheat your oven to 220C/425F/gas7, and from pastry cut out lids slightly larger than your pie.  after placing pastry over brush with beaten egg.  Now I got lazy and just tucked pastry in and although it looks black in the photo it didn't quite burn but was to overcooked.  So next time will be neater. I cooked ours for almost 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden and puffed and the filling is bubbling.

 I served it simply with some new potatoes and steamed broccoli.  My 9 year old gave it a million out of 10 ;o)  We are pie lovers in our house and home made is always better than shop bought