I know summer is creeping up on me, so I’m sneaking in the last of winter’s comfort food. Ag, who am I kidding, I can eat chicken pie any time of the day, 365 days a year.
My philosophy on chicken pie is this: make the biggest pie that you can fit into your oven, because you and your friends and your family would want to eat seconds, and thirds, and fourths. There is just no stopping once it comes to a hearty, steamy, saucy, moreish, golden, perfectly seasoned chicken pie.
For this chicken pie, I have used a few secret weapons: 1) Woolworths’s “Summer Sizzle Seasoning” – it contains a blend of lemon, mustard, pink peppercorns, fennel and herbs with a mild hint of chilli. 2) Simonsberg Cream Cheese, smoked ham flavour. Neither are classic chicken pie ingredients, but they sure pack a mean flavour punch. 3) Store-bought ready-rolled puff pastry, because you will save HOURS in time. I suppose you can substitute the seasoning with your favourite barbecue seasoning, and substitute the cream cheese with sour cream – the pie would still be seriously delicious.
- between 1.2 and 1.5 kg of mixed chicken pieces
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- one packet (15 g) Woolworths Summer Sizzle Seasoning
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cloves
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- 400 ml chicken stock, heated to boiling point
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
- 3 carrots, finely diced
- 400 grams mushrooms, chopped into large chunks
- 2 potatoes, finely diced
- 1/3 cup Simonsberg cream cheese, smoked ham flavour
- 2 generous teaspoons cornflour, dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 packet of store-bought frozen puff pastry, completely thawed (I used “Today”s puff pastry)
- 1 egg, lightly whisked, for brushing pastry
- In a large heavy based pot, brown chicken pieces over moderate to high heat in olive oil and butter, seasoning with Woolworths Summer sizzle Seasoning as you go. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Lower heat to medium, and add chopped onion and garlic. Fry untill translucent and slightly golden brown.
- Add thyme, cloves, nutmeg, bay leaf, and stir while frying for another minute.
- Deglaze pan with white wine, then add chicken stock and bring to a slow simmer.
- Now add the browned pieces of chicken back to the pot. Also add the diced carrots. Simmer on low heat, covered, untill the meat falls from the bone. This should take approximately 60-90 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Now carefully remove the chicken pieces and carefully debone (I use tongs to handle and debone the hot meat).
- Return the deboned meat to the pot and bring back to a slow simmer. Add the diced potato.
- In a separate large frying pan, fry the mushrooms in a bit of olive oil untill golden brown – they don’t have to be cooked through completely. Add the mushrooms and cream cheese to the pot and simmer untill the potatoes are just tender.
- Season generously with salt and pepper to taste, and thicken with cornflour if necessary. The sauce should be runny, but not watery.
- Pre-heat oven to 200 C. Roll out puff pastry so that it fits the baking dish you will be using. I used a large rectangular dish. Cover the dish with the puff pastry, and press firmly into the corners. Brush with egg wash and cut a few small slits in the pastry to allow steam to escape.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 40 minutes or untill golden brown.
- Serve with rice and your choice of salad or veg. Pumpkin fritters are also a great partner for chicken pie!