Chicken and Mushroom Pie, Mash and Mushy peas – killer!
I was on TV3 recently teaching a couple of non-cooks how to nail the mighty Chicken and leek pie, an incredible experience and one accented further by the fact that the show’s host was the very groovy Angline Ball AKA Imelda Quirke from The Commitments fame.
During the show the one thing that hit me as a cook of X years was how much I take cooking skills for granted…I think all us food bloggers do so to some degree. My new buddies Colette ad Caroline were self-admitted total non-cooks and it was an eye opener for me as I walked them through the simple tasks of poaching chicken, chopping leeks and making a white sauce..for me it was like the re-set button had been hit and I had to forensically question everything I did which would previously have been done in the blink of an eye as I thought about football – freaky.
So I’ve decided in this recipe to show a few kitchen hacks – no white classic white sauce and a split second sauce thickener – this is the mighty Chicken and Mushroom Pie served up with buttered mash and the legendary mushy peas!
INGREDIENTS – Makes 2 individual pies
2 large free range chicken breasts (butcher bought – no exception)
2 rolls of puff pastry
2 tps Dijon mustard
1 tbs creme fraiche
2 tbs Mushroom ketchup
225 mls chicken stock
Fresh thyme and rosemary
100 grams mushrooms
50 grms Gruyère cheese
Kick it off by cubing the chicken and quartering the mushrooms – try to keep raw meat like chicken off wooden chopping boards, they are porous and really hard to get fully anti-bac’d
Rather than grilling or frying you gotta poach the chicken in the stock with the herbs – there’s zero fat on the breast so this goes a long way to adding moisture. Do not poach it the entire way through, leave a pink blush because the chicken will have 2 more cooking stages to go through.
Sling the mushrooms into a pan and cook them as you like, I prefer zero bite in a ‘shroom so I go all the way – about 8 minutes in a good lug of olive oil and well seasoned with salt and plenty of cracked black pepper
To the mushrooms add the poached chicken, some chicken stock, creme fraiche, mushroom ketchup, and de-stalked herbs that were also poached then ‘sauce-up’ over a gently heat. You can add a good deal of the stock to make sure you have a good saucy consistency because you’re gonna learn a sneaky kitchen hack…….
Next add the cheese and have a taste up – don’t use your pinkie – stick a spoon in and get a good gob full to be sure and season as you need to. Leave to cool completely
Kitchen Hack: The Swiss Roux – this is kitchen hack you need to know. It’s a quick alternative to arrowroot or cornflour – mix 1 tbs veg oil with 1 tbs plain flour two things anyone will have in the cupboards. Mix and add to the sauce IF it needs a speedy thicken.
Get your hands on a couple of individual pie dishes, cut out one disc of puff pastry for the base and another for the lid.
Push the pastry into the pie dish then spoon in equal measures of your chicken mix, pile it up to ensure you get a ‘domed’ lid for your pie. Flat pies truly do suck.
Set on the second puff lid and seal with a little water then crimp the two parts as stylie or as rough-arsed as you want. Cut a cross in the roof to let any steam escape.
To ensure the pie is golden and crisp when it bakes brush it with a beaten egg – bake in a 180c oven for about 25 minutes or until golden. A good way to check things are ready to roll is to push a knife into the middle of the pie, hold it for about 2 seconds then hold the knife to you lower lip…..if you hit the roof your done 🙂
It is absolutely obligatory to serve this little baby with a really hearty buttered mashand some quality marrow-fat mushy peas…..however I have been know to accompany this with a really good salad or Frizze, Beets and Sundried tomatoes…..whatever works for you..do it.