Monday, 24 March 2014

Chicken and leek pie

I seem to be completely out of sync with my blogging schedule. I realise I didn't publish a single food blog post over the weekend! But it all got a bit crazy with a surprise visitor. Well, he wasn't so much of a surprise to the Culinary Consultant, just to me. Can you say communication breakdown? So it all ended with me running around like crazy trying to clean the whole house (which usually takes at least three hours) in less than an hour and a half. To his defence, the Culinary Consultant did chip in when I started to run up and down the stairs with a mop in my hand a completely panicked face. 

Any left over time I had in the weekend was spent crafting. I had a few cards I wanted to finish. Funnily enough, I seem to manage at least from time to time to photograph my cards in daylight, whereas I never manage that feat with my food. I always seem to eat when it's dark. But spring is coming, along with the slim chance that I manage to photograph some food in actual daylight! 

Today's recipe is just a simple an humble chicken and leek pie. I love pies. And I love to get the corner pieces with loads of pastry. Who wouldn't love flaky pastry? And the creamy hot filling oozing out when you cut the pie. I get hungry just looking at the picture!

Chicken and leek pie (serves 4-5):
3 tbsp olive oil
600 g mushrooms
1 leek
500 g chicken (I used thigh fillets as that was what I had in the freezer)
300 ml (1 1/4 cup) single cream
1 egg
150 g cheddar, grated
1-2 tsp mild curry powder
1-2 tsp tandoori curry powder
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp ground pepper
a pinch of salt 
1/2 tsp pilau rice seasoning

1 pack of puff pastry, egg for brushing

The howto:
Start by preparing the mushrooms, leek and chicken. Peel the mushrooms (if you wish, I always peel mushrooms, although the Culinary Consultant thinks I'm crazy) and thinly slice them. Cut the leek in half and wash thoroughly before chopping. Dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan, and fry the mushrooms in two batches and set aside in a large bowl. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, and cook the leak briefly, I like it to still be green and a bit crunchy instead of limp and pale. Add to the bowl with the mushrooms. Add the last tablespoon of oil into the pan and cook the chicken until cooked through. While the chicken is cooking, preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Add the chicken in with the mushrooms and leeks. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Line a pie tin with puff pastry, and add the filling. Add the pastry lid on top, and seal the puff pastry with a fork or by pinching the pastry base and top. Brush with egg and bake for 45 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. 

The verdict:
I like the slight twist in seasoning to this otherwise very traditional pie. There is just something very comforting with a good pie. I also love how the leek brightens everything up with that bright green colour and gives you an excuse to pretend there is actually something healthy in there as well. Oh, who am I kidding. But like I said, the point of making a pie in a square instead of a round tin is that you have the corner pieces which have more pastry than you would get in a round tin. 

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