Pie season


“Didn’t we have this yesterday,” our eldest son, seven, asks as I serve dinner. “No, it was last week. It’s pie season. We’re going to be eating a lot of pies,” I explain. So with left over roast chicken to use and my taste buds set for individual chicken pies, I couldn’t help making a crust to remind him of our conversation. He had a chuckle when I set it in front of him. Then proceeded to eat the letters one by one and gradually devour the pie.

Chicken Pie adapted from The Cook’s Companion, Stephanie Alexander

Ingredients: Left over roast chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (300-400g for four people), salt, ground pepper, 2 tblsps plain flour, 1 onion finely diced, four garlic cloves thinly sliced, 150g unsalted butter, 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley and sage, 2/3 cup milk, 1 cup cream, 1 egg, puff pastry.

Method: Dice left over chicken and toss in seasoned flour. Melt half the butter in a frypan or casserole dish. Saute diced onion and garlic over low heat, add garlic until softened. Tip into bowl. Melt half the remaining butter and saute (cooked) chicken until heated through. Transfer to bowl of onion and garlic. Repeat with remainder of butter and chicken. Toss chicken with onion and garlic and add parsley and sage. Return half the mixture to the pan and add half the milk and half the cream and allow to bubble for 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining chicken, milk and cream. Combine both batches.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Mix egg with a pinch of salt to make egg wash. Trace outline of pie dish rim onto puff pastry sheets with knife and cut out (outline letters with knife and cut out if desired). Ladle chicken filling into 16cm individual enamelled pie dishes. Place pastry lid on top (and letters) and brush with egg wash. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and mixture is bubbling around the edges.

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