I haven’t done that many savoury recipes on the blog but inspired by The Great British Bake Off (and let’s be honest, who isn’t inspired to get into the kitchen when the series is on) I thought I’d make my own short crust pastry and whip up a savoury chicken and veg pie. When I told Phill what I was making his eyes lit up. But then, who doesn’t love a good old pie for dinner? And I knew if I could make a short crust pastry as good as my Mum’s, I would be onto a winner.
The online fashion and home style store Kaleidoscope kindly sent me out some Katie Alice kitchenware to set me on my merry pie-making way! The stand-out item was the prettiest polka dot heart shaped ceramic pie dish with steamer (so fancy!) from the Highland Fling range. The Katie Alice range reminds me of Emma Bridgewater’s style – very pretty and feminine. The wooden chopping board and knife set from the Katie Alice English Garden range were also really impressive. The acacia wood of the knife block and chopping board really stood out in it’s quality. I loved the sky blue handles of the knives, but most importantly of all, the knives were nice and sharp! I didn’t realise how blunt my other kitchen knives had become until I used these.
With my lovely new kitchen items I was ready to get cracking with my pastry and filling. Luckily short crust pastry is pretty straight forward to make – just half the amount of flour you have to tell you how much butter/lard is needed. I decided to use chicken thighs for the pie so that I could have nice moist chicken that pulled apart easily. Really any vegetables would be great in this dish. I opted for onions, mushrooms, celery, carrot and peas. To make my pie that bit more special and ‘me’ I used the left over bits of pastry to create two squirrels and an acorn to decorate the top. Full ingredients list and method are below – I hope you like it!
Ingredients for the short crust pastry
310g plain flour
155g butter, softened (leave a little to the side to coat the pie dish)
3 tblsp cold water
1 tsp table salt
1 egg yolk (set aside to coat the pastry before you place pie in the oven)
Ingredients for filling:
500g chicken thighs
200ml chicken stock
6 mushrooms, chopped
4 celery sticks, chopped
4 small shallot onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup frozen pies
2 tblsp corn flour
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp oregano
salt & pepper
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1. Sift the flour into a large bowl, add in the butter and salt and combine the ingredients until you have a breadcrumb type consistency.
2. Add the water and bring together the pastry into one large ball.
3. Wrap the pastry ball in cling film and place in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes.
4. Add olive oil to a large pan and put over a high heat. Add your vegetables (not the peas just yet) and chicken thighs to the pan and cook over a high heat until you have colour on the chicken. Turn down the heat a bit, add the peas, bay leaves and various seasoning plus the stock and simmer for about 20 minutes. Pull apart the chicken until you have bit size strips and thicken up the chicken stock sauce with the cornflour before taking the pan off the heat.
5. Heat the oven to 180C.
6. Roll out the pastry until it is approximately 4mm thick. Cut off enough to cover the base and sides of the dish and place this into your container (make sure it is greased with butter first). Trim the excess pastry up the sides with a small knife. Add the chicken and veg filling until the pie dish is full (remember to take out the bay leaves). Use the rest of the pastry to top the pie and to cut out any shapes you fancy!
7. Egg wash the pastry top and place the pie in the oven for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Have you been inspired to do some homebaking now that The Great British Bake Off is on TV once again?