Chicken pie recipes are as many and varied as there are hot dinners in the year. I wanted to have something no fuss, with full flavour, and easy to make. Puff pastry is the one pastry that I cheat with. It is such a faff to work with, that I always have some on standby in the freezer to make emergency pies or puff pizzas. A little puff on the top of a dish can complete something that has been a bit of a disaster in the kitchen and needs a topping, or to finish a slow cooked recipe with fantastic flavour, by turning it into a pie.
The chicken is slow cooked, but the puff pastry has to really be popped into the oven with the pie filling to finish off the dish. The filling is what makes the result spectacular in a pie. Slow cooked food has a taste and aroma that I feel no other way of cooking can produce.
According to the kids, this was the best chicken pie ever, so how to make a chicken pie had to be turned into a blog post. I get my meat, as always these days from Andrew Gordon Butchery and Fine Foods and the traceability, quality and texture never let me down.
- 1 Chicken Breast per person (Cut into strips.)
- 2 Tablespoons Rapeseed Oil
- 100g Vegetables Per Person
- Water (Tailor to your recipe.)
- Salt (Pinch)
- Pepper (Pinch)
- Pack of Puff Pastry
- Switch on your slow cooker to high and add a couple of mm of water in the bottom. Look out a thick bottomed frying pan and your oil. This recipe is not cut and dried. There is very little that can go wrong, so choose how many people you will feed to decide how much you make ingredient wise. When you know your amounts, it is easy to judge how much of everything else that you need.
- Lightly fry your chicken in a tablespoon of rapeseed oil, so that the edges all round have gone white. Once the meat has been sealed, it can be added to your slow cooker.
- Choose which vegetables you use. I had 6 chicken breasts, and I added 2 chopped onions and 2 sliced carrots to my pan with the remaining rapeseed oil. I lightly fried those before adding them to the slow cooker.
- I add another cup or two of water to half cover the ingredients, give it all a quick stir and pop on the lid. It can be left for 4 hours on high, or turn it down to low for approximately 7 - 8 hours.
- When it's ready, you can thicken the gravy if you wish by using cornflour mixed in water, and adding it slowly until you reach the thickness of gravy that you prefer as a cook.
- Spread the slow cooked chicken evenly along the bottom of a baking tray.
- Roll the puff pastry out until it is the size you need to cover your baking tray. Lay it over the top, press the edges down and use a fork to make holes in the pastry at reglar intervals. You don't have to be perfect with the edges.
- Some people will baste the top with egg or milk. For puff pastry, I never bother, and it always comes out fine. After being in the oven at approximately 220 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the pastry rises, take it out and score the top. The lovely flaky texture of the pastry makes a pie almost a whole meal in itself.
- The lovely flaky texture of the pastry makes a pie almost a whole meal in itself.