Chicken and Mushroom Pie
Sharing is caring they say, and what better to share than a meal with friends? I wanted to prepare something to share with some friends of mine last week and thought, well everybody like chicken and every one loves pie, why not make a chicken pie? So in keeping with last weeks theme, I decided to bake a chicken and mushroom pie.
This time the base of the filling, is on one of the other classic mother sauces from French cuisine, the velouté sauce, which is basically a roux with clear stock, in this case the chicken stock made from the poached chicken that we’re going to use for the filling as well.
The great advantage of poaching a whole chicken, is the amount of stock that you make is more than enough, once you’re done with the chicken, strain the stock so that it’s clear than pout it into a ice cube tray and you’ve got a fantastic stock you can use later on, which in my opinion is so much tastier than something from the supermarket. Cook, eat and enjoy.
POACHED CHICKEN INGREDIENTS:
1 whole chicken 1.25 kg)
10 cm section of fresh ginger, in 0.5 cm slices
2 stalks green onions, cut into 2-3 cm sections (both the green and white parts)
CHICKEN PIE FILLING INGREDIENTS
1.25kg chicken or 500g of chicken thighs if not making the stock
400ml chicken stock if you’re not making the stock from scratch
8x rashers smoked streaky bacon, cut into large pieces
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 onion, halved and sliced
250g pack baby button mushrooms
Palm full of tarragon leaves
35g plain flour
500 ml milk
500g pack fresh puff pastry, or frozen and defrosted
1 egg, beaten
– We can begin the first stage, which is to poach the chicken, by grabbing a handful of rock salt, and give the old bird a gentle massage, this should bring any excess blood and juices to the surface, as well as flavouring the chicken itself. You can be quite liberal with your use of salt, making sure that you get any excess loose skin smoothed out and salt in between whatever folds you can.
– After you’re done being firm but fair with your featherless friend, you can now fill his sense of emptiness, with a little spring onions and ginger love… don’t worry he won’t complain about cold hands.
– Once you’ve provided our little friend with a cavity filling, you can then gently relax Mr Chicken with a warm inviting bath, provided by a large inviting pot, making sure that you’ve filled with cold water to cover by about 1 inch.
– Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then immediately turn the heat to low to keep a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes more (less if you’re using a smaller chicken).
– Check to make sure it’s cooked through, by sticking a chopstick into the flesh under the leg and see if the juices run clear or insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh not touching bone. It should read 77 degree’s celcius
– While the chicken’s gently poaching away, you can start to sauté the garlic, onions, then mushrooms, then set aside.
– Once the chicken has been poached, drain Mr chicken of any excess stock and allow him to chill out for a while, as you strain the stock through a strainer or a muslin cloth, to produce a lovely clear stock for later use.
– Once the Mr Chicken is cool enough, you can shred him in preparation as the filling.
– Now to create the velouté sauce, which is quite easy to do. Simply set an element on the stove top to a low-medium heat and with a pot, drop the butter into a pot and with the sifted flour. The butter should melt and begin to form a paste, which is called a roux.
– Once your roux, starts to look a little more consistent, pour in a small portion of the milk, stirring constantly until the sauce becomes absorbed into the roux.
– Keep adding a bit more milk again stirring constantly until the milks absorbed and repeat until a velvety sauce starts to form. Once it’s brought to a boil, mix in hopefully a fresh batch of stock that you’ve made.
– Eventually once the sauce has a velvety consistency, bring it to boil before reducing the heat, you can then add in the chicken, mushroom sauté and bacon, which should add a smoky flavour to that saucy goodness.
– Adding to taste, season the filling with pepper, tarragon leaves,
– Pre-heat the oven, to 180 degree’s Celsius on fan.
– Roll the pastry out nice and flat with enough pastry to form both the base and the lid of the pie, then line a pie dish pouring your chicken and mushroom sauce into.
– Adding the top layer of pastry to cover the sauce, pinch the sides of the pastry together to form a crust. Baste the top of the pastry with the beaten egg, to add a lovely golden glaze to the pie. Once you’ve completely coated the pastry, then with a fork, add a few holes to the pastry to allow the excess moisture to escape, while in baking.
– Place in the oven and in half an hours time, your pie should be golden brown and ready to serve up. Bon appetit.