CHICKEN POT PIE
1 1/2 cups flour, plus extra for flouring board
pinch of salt
6 Tbs margarine
1 Tbs fresh mixed herbs, chopped
12 oz cooked, bite-sized boneless chicken
1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 celery stalk, finely sliced
sprig of thyme
1 2/3 cup milk
2 Tbs cornflour
salt, black pepper
- To make the pastry, place the flour and salt in a bowl and rub in margarine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the mixed herbs and add a little cold water, 1 Tbs at a time until it holds together to make a smooth, firm dough. Wrap the pastry in cling wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat and add onion, garlic, celery. Cook, stirring gently, until vegetables are slightly softened, add chicken, thyme and mixed vegetables, stir then turn off heat.
- Blend cornflour and 5 Tbsp milk in heatproof bowl. Heat remaining milk in saucepan to boiling point , then pour it on to the cornflour mixture, stirring constantly. Return the mixture to the pan over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. I find that this thickens so quickly that I have to add some chicken stock or water and it can become one lumpy mass if left too long. Turn off heat once it is at desired thickness.
- Add vegetable/chicken mixture to sauce in pot and season to taste with salt and pepper. If you like things spicy, add some cayenne or hot sauce.
- Spoon mixture into 5 cup pie dish. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to a shape slightly larger than pie dish. Place on top of pie, trim and decorate the top with pastry trimmings, if you like. Make a slit in the centre to allow steam to escape.
- Bake in 375F/190C oven for 35-40 minutes until pastry is golden brown.
Serves 5 to 6 people.
You can use mushrooms, sweetcorn, add potatoes. What I really love about this dish is its versatility. I can put whatever is in my fridge or pantry... and I LOVE the crust. The fresh herbs add so much flavour and you can experiment with different herbs. I'd also like to mention that it's a much lighter version than the traditional pot pies that use cream or creamy soups as the base.
The secret to the flavours in my pie, however, is that I cook my chicken breast, bone in for added flavour, in water that has bay leaves, thyme, seasoning peppers and garlic. I use the stock from that to add to my sauce when it thickens up.
For a flakier crust, you can use half shortening and half margarine. I don't use the shortening because we watch the fat and cholesterol in our home.
I hope that you enjoy this recipe and you find it as versatile as I do.
May God's graces and blessing be with you.