To start things off why not pick the obvious project…pie!
I have been told that I am a pretty good pie maker. I’ve mastered a few good meat pies and through the course of this blog I’d like to master a few more savoury ones as well as sweet.
Today I will start with an old favourite which was first concocted by a friend of mine in my university days which I have perfected over the years…
Creamy roast chicken and bacon pie.
First things first. This is NOT for anyone on a diet and perhaps the rest of us shouldn’t eat it more than fortnightly at the least!
The recipe is for a pie with a top only and today I’ve cheated with shop bought puff pastry. You can make your own but shop bought is far less laborious and the result is probably better anyway. In future recipes I will however be making my own pastry!
This is a good recipe for left over Sunday roast chicken and possibly turkey but today I’ve also roasted my chicken from scratch.
Roast your chicken whichever way you wish but here’s how I did mine today.
For the roast chicken you will need:
- 1 Medium Chicken
- A few sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
- 3 shallots chopped into quarters
- 4 garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 50g salted butter cut into chunks
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- Chicken Stock
Using a sharp knife, make two small incisions through the skin at the top (neck side) of each breast, being careful not to cut into the breast itself. With your fingers rub down under the skin through either side individually to separate from the breast meat and the skin. Now stuff this cavity by alternating between chunks of the butter and the chopped garlic until you have covered the breast to the opening.
Rub the entire chicken with the olive oil and then season with the salt and pepper.
Stuff half shallots and rosemary sprigs in the gaps between the legs, wings and breasts and place the rest inside the chicken.
Pour half your stock into the base of your roasting tin and a quarter into the inside of the chicken where you have your shallots and rosemary.
Cook as per the instructions on your chicken. Although as a general rule of thumb it is 20 mins per 450mg (1lb) plus an extra 20 mins at around190°C.
After the first 20 mins baste the chicken with the remaining stock and then again every 20mins with the stock and juices from the bottom of the roasting tray.
When the chicken is done lift onto a carving board and cover with tinfoil and leave to rest as you get on with the rest of the pie.
For the pie sauce you will need:
- 30g Salted butter
- 2 medium white onions finely chopped
- 6 Rashers of smoked bacon roughly cut into approx 2cm squares.
- 250ml double cream
- ¾ tbsp Plain Flour
- 1 glass of white wine
- Freshly ground black pepper
- One block of ready made puff pastry (or pastry of your choice)
- 1 egg whisked
Get a large heavy based flat pan. Melt the butter in the pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onions. Bring the heat up high for 30 secs and the turn down to a very low heat. I use my smallest burner for this. Spread the onions thinly over the surface of the pan and leave to soften for 12-15 mins. Stir every 5 mins and be careful not to brown them too much.
Once the onions are softened add the chopped bacon and bring the heat up high again. Cook the bacon until the fat starts to brown then add the glass of wine. Still on the highest heat reduce down the liquid until it’s about half the quantity. Once halved turn the heat down to medium heat. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the mixture and then cook for 2 mins stirring at all times. Turn the heat down to low and stir in your cream. Continue to cook on low for 3-4 mins as the cream thickens. Turn of the heat and leave to one side to cool and allow the cream to soak up the flavours.
By now your chicken should have cooled enough to handle.
With your hands, break up as much of the meat as you can. Break into medium thick flaky bits. Its always very tempting to just eat the delicious roast chicken here but control yourself, it’ll be all worth it in the end trust me!
Once you’ve stripped the bird completely add the chicken to the creamy mixture and season with pepper to taste. The smoked bacon should give the mixture all the saltiness it needs.
Cut the pastry top to size to just bigger than the size of the dish you are using. Decorate the pastry how you wish including any pastry you might have left over. To finish score the pastry and add two air holes by cutting completely through the pastry with two small cuts in the middle of the pie.
The filling of the pie is now cooked so we just need to cook the pastry top. For puff pastry I give this 30-35 mins at170°C(fan assisted).
Serve with green vegetables and enjoy!