Friday, March 9, 2012
Chicken and Ham Pie
Now as the mornings are getting much cooler and the nights are getting darker, it is time to turn our thoughts to warming comfort foods again.
This an easy recipe it only requires a bit of chopping, whisking and stirring. You don't even have to make pastry, as it only has a sheet of puff pastry as a lid.
I don't make big pies like this with a pastry base for one reason to much pastry gives Mr CLI heartburn and 2 it is a lot of palaver to get the pastry to be crisp and not soggy. I would rather have no pastry if it is going to have a soggy bottom.
As with many of my recipes you could add vegetables if you wish. If you do I would blanch them first so that they finish cooking by the time the chicken has cooked through.
Also you don't need to add the cream, but as it is such a little amount it doesn't really hurt, but does give the pie filling a creamy texture.
Also the ham doesn't have to be anything special I used leftover ham from making the pizzas the other night some of it was shredded and some was finely sliced honey ham. I wouldn't use a very smoky flavoured ham as the flavour will take over the rest of the filling.
Chicken and Ham Pie
2 skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1cm pieces, 250 gm ham cut into small pieces, 4 -5 medium button mushrooms, cut in half then thinly sliced, 3 cups chicken stock, 2 tsps dijon mustard, salt and pepper, 2 tbsps finely chopped parsley, 2 tbsps butter, 2 tbsps plain flour, 1 tbsps sherry/brandy/port, 2 tbsps cream
1 -2 sheets puff pastry
To Serve - Mashed potato.
Melt the butter in a large frypan whisk in the flour, whisk for 1 minute. Add the alcohol, let most of it evaporate, then add 2 cups of the chicken stock, whisk to form a smooth paste, if very thick add more stock you want the sauce to be thick but not too thick as you will be cooking the chicken in it. Add the mustard, salt and pepper to taste.
Add the chicken , parsley and mushrooms, reduce the heat to medium, simmer stirring every couple of minutes till the chicken is cooked. This will take 5 - 8 minutes.
Add the cream and ham, simmer 1-2 minutes.
Taste it may need more salt or pepper, if the sauce gets to thick add a little more stock or boiling water.
Place into you pie dish. Mine was 25 cm wide. Leave to cool before putting on the pastry.
Preheat the oven 200,c.
Cover the pie with pastry, cut 3 vent holes in the centre. You can brush with either milk or a little beaten egg. I didn't brush mine with anything and got a very browned and crisp top. Grind over some salt and pepper.
Cook 30 - 40 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the top is crisp and brown.
Serve with mash potato.