Sunday, November 27, 2005

Chicken Pie

As usual, I found myself home alone on Sunday lunchtime, with my parents out working. Daniel, however, was home, and I thought he might appreciate some lunch.

178. Chicken Pie (Feeding Babies and Small Children)

I do love a good pie, and chicken pie is one of my favourites. This recipe is a good way of using up leftover cooked chicken meat – Nigella says to use 200grams, which, funnily enough, was the exact amount left on the chicken carcass from Friday night’s fab boiled chicken! Back of the net!

In her (almost exactly the same) recipe for chicken pot pie in the Kiddiefeast chapter of Feast, Nigella, she says “I know these are quite a lot of trouble, but they are a real treat, and even such instinctive ingrates as children will truly appreciate it”.

It actually is a bit of trouble to make, but I found the process of making the pie to be an enjoyable way to while away a Sunday morning. For someone who loves cooking, this is great fun to make, but if you were looking for something to quickly and easily feed hungry children, you could probably do better. I could so see this recipe ending in tears for a frazzled and stressed out mum or babysitter!

I started off by making some pastry “as directed on page 42”, and realized, to my delight, that after having made Nigella pastry so many times, I no longer need the recipe! The quantities and ratios of flour/fat/liquid change with each recipe, but the method is the same. That is, freeze the cubed fat and flour in a shallow dish, pulse them in a food processor until crumbily combined, then slowly add liquid down the funnel until it just forms a ball. Stash it in the fridge for twenty minutes and it’s ready to roll!

I don’t mean to brag (or maybe I do), but I made the pastry at the same time as I was making the white sauce, and boiling peas for the filling. Pouring the liquid for the pastry into the processor with my left hand, stirring the white sauce on the heat with my right, and keeping a watchful eye on the peas the whole while.

The white sauce is an ordinary white sauce, but with half a crumbled stock cube added at the start. Once the white sauce is done, you stir through the cooked peas and shredded chicken meat, spread the mixture into a buttered dish and cover it with the pastry.

Pastry – Nigella’s recipe is fantastic, the pastry was wonderfully pliable.

Pie uncooked
And after half an hour in a 190 degree oven…

Cooked pie

My brother and I ate the pie, slathered in tomato sauce in front of the TV. It was the perfect meal for a quiet afternoon at home.


We didn’t finish the pie (Daniel’s appetite hasn’t totally returned yet), but ate about two thirds of it. Later on in the afternoon, when my Dad came home, he tried some too and loved it. I knew he would, he loves chicken pie, used to eat it all the time when he was a kid. Then I finished the rest for a small mid-afternoon snack.


domesticgoddess said...

that pie looks delicious: homely and comforting. :D back of the net!

oh, and how good is nigella's pastry method! i find it foolproof, too.

Niki said...

I made that pie just recently too! Had leftover chicken from a roast, but deciding to start it at 10.30pm meant that I went the frozen pastry option - not so good. But that filling is superb! Adding a stock cube to white sauce...mmmm. I could pour that stuff over everything in sight. It'd be fabulous over potatotes.