Friday, 12 July 2013

Chicken Pie, Carrot Mash and French-Style Peas

First off a HUGE thank you to Jamie Oliver for the picture here. This is how the pie SHOULD have looked. Instead I made a monumental error. I must've made this recipe around a dozen times but INSTEAD of using puff pastry I, in my slightly sleep-deprived state, used filo pastry. We are all human, but just roll with the punches I guess. The predominance of this meal was done perfectly and was an absolute joy to make, cook, and eat.

Cooking Time 40 minutes
Serves 4
Chicken Pie:
800g of Chicken Breasts
150g Chestnut Mushrooms
300ml of Chicken Stock (a stock cube in a mug of boiling water will do though!)
A bunch of spring onions
English Mustard
Creme Fraiche
Plain Flour
An egg
PUFF Pastry.

600g Carrots
2 small lettuces
Another 300ml of chicken stock (the same as above goes though!)
400g Peas (I think the best peas are frozen peas, they'll never go off and they're ready when you are!)
Mint and Thyme

Pop a large frying pan on a medium high heat, get a kettle on, and a saucepan on the hob too.
Start off by getting your chicken sliced into nice thin strips, I think scissors make this job a lot easier, as long as you wash them properly afterwards. I mean PROPERLY. Add a little oil and a little butter to the pan with your chicken. Chunk up your mushrooms and again use your, now clean, scissors to cut the spring onions into the pan.

Add a tablespoon of flour and stir this together. This will make what the french call a "roux" (pronounced Roo), this is just a mix of butter and flour and is intended as a thickener for a sauce. Once this has started to go a little creamy, add a little thyme (it is a chicken dish after all!) add a tablespoon of creme fraiche, 300ml of Chicken Stock and add two generous teaspoons (or if you want an even stronger hum, one whole tablespoon!) of mustard. Mix this all together and leave to blip away!

Remember how we have that kettle full of hot water, slice the carrots lengthways (and in half if you need, until they're about the length of your middle finger) get the carrots into that saucepan with a little olive oil a little thyme, salt and pepper and cover (just) with boiling water. Put a lid on them and they just go really soft and start soak up the seasoned oil.

RIGHT, here's where I went wrong. You have been warned. Sigh. Dust a surface and roll out your PUFF pastry. NOT FILO.
This should be a little bigger than your oven proof dish. Tip all of the chicken and the mix that's in the frying pan into the dish. Cover the dish completely with the pastry and tuck it in in the ages. Puff pastry is hugely forgiving so, to be quite honest, if you've got shaky hands and fluff it, you could actually do a pretty decent job! If you wanted to be really creative, you could use a cookie mould, cut out shapes and cover the top entirely in different shapes. We're all here to play around really!
Once this is done, brush with the beaten egg. This will make that pastry artwork of yours all bronzed and beautiful!
NOW, remember that frying pan? We're gonna use all of the little leftover chunks in the peas! NOTHING goes to waste on my watch. Get the pan back on a high heat. Pop a knob of butter and another tablespoon of flour into the pan, get your roux going and this will snatch ALL of those lovely little leftovers! Pour in another mug (300 ml) of chicken stock, grab your two lettuces, rinse them, chop the bottoms off and slice up the rest., and get this into the pan with your peas. Tear in some mint leaves, but if you haven't got these you could use a few teaspoons of mint sauce.

Peas don't take long at all, really only a few minutes, your pie should have browned nicely. All we've got to do is really see to the carrots. Drain these off and get them back in the saucepan, these should be nice and tender so use your potato masher and squish them a little bit, as you would do for mashed potato. Not too much though, you still want a little texture. Serve this with the pie, and have a fantastic weekend!

Genuinely can't believe I got this wrong guys, it just proves that we're all human! I really appreciate you getting so far and reading this all, assuming you haven't just skipped through the pictures!
ALL feedback is hugely appreciated, and why not share your own pictures?
I've made it as easy as possible, just click, type, and post! Thanks Guys!