As a child, I remember leafing through my mother’s cook books, and there was always a recipe for a chicken pot pie. It looked so good, warm and luscious. But, as I said before, my family was a lot of things, but not British or American. So, never in my life did I have a Chicken Pie until I made one myself. The first few tries were laughable. I was just out of my teens, was living on my own and attempting to cook. Let’s just say the results were less than stellar. And that is putting it lightly. But, I never give up when I fail at something, so I tried and tried again and EUREKA! By George, I got it!
A few weeks ago I was at a friends house, she was born here in Barcelona, but her family is from Argentina. Her husband, however, was born in Yorkshire from American parents. They had just come back from a trip to the UK, and they brought back this amazing book, I don’t remember what the name was, but it was all about pie’s. Savoury pies, sweet pies, hand pies…..oh sweet Jesus! I think I actually drooled on the book. ( I hope they didn’t notice.) It got my wheels a working to make more pies at home.
I love tarragon, but it is sparsely used in recipes here, although it is always in the supermarket? Huh. So, for Brit Week I knew I was going to make a pie. I originally thought cheese and onion, but since I did the Sunday roast with chicken, I had quite a bit left over. And as I mentioned before, British cuisine really knows how to make do with all your left overs.
I made this pie yesterday. And no, I did not make the puff pastry. I usually do, but it is such a long and hard process, that honestly, it defeats the purpose of this easy, delicious and hearty meal. I mean…..ok, you’re using up your chicken to make a great meal for your family, but you’re going to spend three hours making the dough? No way. Just get store-bought. No one will know the difference, and unless you have made puff pastry a few times, it will more than likely not turn out. It is one of the more difficult doughs to make. If you want to make your own crust, be my guest. But I was too tired. And I had a glass of wine instead while it was baking.
Today my friend Julie from Liverpool came over, and she gave me the seal of approval. We had crustless pie with the rest of the bubble and squeak. And we had seconds. It was that good. I wish I had more. But hey, next week I can make another pie!!!!
So here’s what you’re going to need:
55 g butter
1 onion, sliced
300 g mushrooms, quartered
salt and pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, chopped
40 g plain flour
150 ml white wine
300 ml chicken stock
Left over chicken from 4 breasts
150 ml heavy cream
Freshly grated nutmeg
250 g puff pastry, store-bought
1 egg beaten
2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped plus more for crust
In a sauté pan, melt your butter. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and raise the heat to high, add the salt and cook until nicely browned, about another 5 minutes. If you feel that the veggies are too dry, add some oil or more butter. Add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.
Now add your flour and lower the heat to low. Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the wine and stock, and raise the heat and bring to a boil. When thickened, add your chicken, cream, tarragon and nutmeg. Take off heat.
Pre-heat your oven according to package directions, but should generally be around 200-220 C. Unroll the puff pastry, and press some of your reserved tarragon leaves into it. Place the chicken mixture into a baking dish, and roll out the puff pastry, pressing into the edges to seal. Cut off the excess, and if you’re feeling up to it, use the extra pieces to decorate the top a bit. Baste it with the beaten egg.
Bake in your oven for about 15 minutes, or until puffy and golden brown, and it’s bubbling and you can’t take it anymore cause you’re going to stuff your face into it. Sorry. That’s what happens to me sometimes. Food makes me crrrrrrazy.
Let it cool a bit before serving.
From my kitchen to yours,