I was looking for something special to cook last Saturday night. Not because I’m a domestic doyen but because I needed to make up for the sausages and fish-fingers that I threw around like proper food last week. The great thing about this recipe is that it can be whipped up pretty quickly and you can turn something out that looks a million pounds but costs very little. I don’t go for chicken breast unless I’m making breaded chicken. Thighs always hold up better, taste better and cost less. So grab a packet of thighs, with skin and bone if you can – helps keep it moist and adds flavour.
The secret to the speed of this recipe is that you don’t have to cook the chicken in the filling, which takes a long time – instead you just whack the oven up high and roast the thighs while you’re preparing the filling. If you don’t care too much about the pastry – then just buy some ready-made puff or short crust and do your thing. If you do care about the pastry, then wiz up some sour cream flaky pastry recipe. It is very much worth the time. In regards to the vegetables you put in – that’s entirely up to you and the preferences of your family. Keep it simple, carrots, mushies, leeks, maybe some broccoli or beans, even a few frozen peas and corn won’t hurt. If your kids are anything like mine – it doesn’t matter you choose – they’ll hate it. I served my proud pie up to the table with a smug look on my face only to be shot down by the kids who said it looked really disgusting. But it was all made better when they started(re:forced) to eat it and said it tasted much better than it looks and was in fact delicious.
Roast Chicken and Vegetable Pie Recipe
For the pastry
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt + white pepper
1 tsp herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano – whatever you fancy)
280g cold/frozen butter
1 cup sour cream
For the Pie
1 pkg thighs on the bone
1 chicken stock cube/melt
1 onion/leek chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs seeded mustard
splash of white wine
Chopped vegetables (mushrooms, peas and corn, carrots etc)
Put the seasoned thighs on a baking tray and put them in the hot oven.
For the pastry
In a food processor (or with a cheese grater and a bit of elbow grease) pulse the cold butter and flour, salt and herbs until the butter is broken up into tiny pieces. But not too tiny – leave some larger clumps – these will let off steam making your pastry light and flaky.
Pour in the sour cream and pulse until JUST combined. Do the rest by hand, mixing the dough until it’s come together nicely and split it in half. Wrap the halves in cling film and refrigerate.
For the filling
In some butter or olive oil, saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add the carrot and then the other vegetables and saute for another few minutes.
Add the mustard and a splash of white wine or sherry. Simmer some of the liquid off a bit before you pour in enough hot water to make the filling. Let’s say two cups.
Pop in the chicken stock melt and let it all simmer until the vegetables are cooked through. Let the carrot be your guide.
Thicken the sauce with some flour and water and let it simmer and thicken.
By now the chicken should be cooked – or nearly there. Let it cool and then strip the chicken and pop the meat into the filling.
Roll out the base of the pie and place in a buttered dish, blind bake until the pastry is well cooked.
Pour the filling into the crust and roll out the 2nd half of pastry and place it on top. Crimp the edges or at least press them together. Wash with a beaten egg and milk if you want a nice glaze, and cut a little hole in the top for the steam to escape.
Bake until it’s all golden brown. Serve with greens.