Hi there 🙂
This is a recipe I should’ve shared during the winter, I always seem to be a season behind but wow, they’re flying by so quickly they kind of catch me off guard, I really don’t know where the time goes…and I’m sure as I’m getting older it’s speeding up, which is a frightening thought!
My family loves pies, and chicken, so put the two together and they’re ‘as happy as Larry’. My 12-year-old son wouldn’t usually touch mushrooms and he isn’t that fond of beans but for some reason even though he knows they’re in this pie, he doesn’t even mention them. (You can put anything in a pastry case and the kids will eat it!) It’s loaded with shredded chicken (perfect to use up leftovers) and if I must say so myself, has a rather delicious Creme Fraiche sauce, holding it together inside a flaky puff pastry crust.
1 ½ cups / 130 g frozen baby green beans
3 loosely packed cups (when sliced) / 200 g button mushrooms
½ large or 1 medium-sized onion
2 packed tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (Any or all of, parsley, marjoram, thyme & oregano or 1 teaspoon of dried herbs)
2 packed cups / 300 g cooked, shredded chicken (leftovers or from a 1 kg chicken)
2 tablespoons / 30 ml cooking oil
50 g butter
3 tablespoons / 30 g flour
2 cups chicken or vegetable liquid stock (or 2 teaspoons of dry stock)
½ cup / 100 g Creme Fraiche
1 teaspoon Dijon or wholegrain mustard
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon, ground or cracked black pepper
Putting it together
1 small egg
1 x 400 g packet puff pastry
Optional – 1 teaspoon butter
Also Optional – 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Serves – Depending on the number of sides you are serving it with, it will serve 4 – 6.
- A 1 kg chicken will give you approx 2 packed cups of cooked meat. I only make a pie if I’ve cooked (or bought a cooked) a medium-sized chicken, have used a good portion of the breast meat for lunch wraps for the first few days and then need to use the rest on the third day.
- I use frozen beans in this recipe as they are less expensive and smaller so I don’t need to cook them first. If you have fresh beans, that’s great too. You’ll need to cut them in half (if long), bring some water to the boil and then blanch them for 3 minutes (they’ll cook further in the pie).
- Say what? You don’t like beans?! Peas would be nice too. 🙂
- Rather than make a rough puff, I’ve used store-bought puff pastry as it’s nice and flaky and saves time. (Here in NZ I wouldn’t dream about using any brand other than Edmonds).
- If you are using a deep pie dish like mine, you’ll need to use every little scrap of pastry.
STEP BY STEP
You will need a deep, round, 7 cup capacity pie dish. The one I use is 25 cm across the top, 18 cm across the bottom and is 5 ½ cm deep.
- It’s okay to go a little smaller but if you go larger you’ll probably need more pastry.
First, remove the pastry from the freezer to defrost.
- If it’s a hot day keep an eye on it. If it defrosts quickly and is starting to become a little too soft, place it in the fridge or it’ll be too soft to handle….Yes, I’m talking to you my Aussie friends!
Take the beans out of the freezer to defrost (or blanch your fresh beans as I mentioned in the notes).
Next, use a clean, dry tea towel to wipe the mushrooms clean.
Slice a little off the ends of the stalks and then thinly slice them all, placing them in a small bowl and leaving them aside for now.
Go on to peel and finely dice the onion, leaving it on the corner of the board for now.
Wash the herbs in cold water and…
…lay them out on a paper towel or a clean tea towel and pat them dry.
Roughly chop them up and leave them on the chopping board as well.
If you haven’t already, shred the chicken and leave it aside for now.
- Double check it for that tiny needle-like bone, it’s so easy to miss, isn’t it?
Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the cooking oil.
When the oil is hot, add the onions and stirring often, cook them for around 3 minutes or until they have started to soften.
Next, add the butter and mushrooms to the pan and still stirring often, cook them for a further 3 minutes.
Throw in the herbs and continue cooking for a further minute.
Whilst still over the heat, add the flour and stir it through until the mushrooms are evenly coated.
Turn the heat up to medium-high and whilst continuously stirring, add the 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock, ½ cup at a time (or 2 cups of water mixed with 2 teaspoons of dry stock) until you’ve added it all (wait for it to thicken slightly between additions).
Once thickened, turn the heat to low and fold through the Creme Fraiche, mustard, salt and pepper.
Remove the pan from the heat and fold the beans and the chicken through (it won’t matter if the beans are still a little frozen).
Leave the pie filling in the pan for now. (P.S I dare you no to eat a spoon or two!)
Putting it together
First, place an oven rack a third up from the bottom of the oven and turn it to 170°C fan/convection oven or 190°C conventional oven, on bake.
Next, make an egg-wash by placing the egg in a small bowl and then use a spoon to remove around a third of the egg-white.
- Removing some of the white will give the egg-wash a better colour, not too dark, not too light.
Use a fork to whisk it up well.
Lightly flour a clean and dry surface, and cut the pastry in half.
- If it’s a hot day and the pastry seems too soft to handle, return it to the fridge for 20 minutes before trying again.
Using ye trusty ole rolling pin, roll one half of the pastry out evenly until it is 2 mm thick (rotating the pastry helps).
- Rotate the pastry often and if the rolling pin starts to stick to the pastry sprinkle a very small amount of flour over the surface of the pastry.
Upturn the pie dish and place it on the pastry.
Cut around it, leaving an extra rim of ½ cm.
Lightly sprinkle the circle of pastry with flour, fold it in half and then half again, and set it aside for now (leave the scraps of pastry aside, as they are without scrunching them up).
Give the pie dish a generous spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- If you like you can grease it well with 1 teaspoon butter.
Roll out the second half of the pastry to the same thickness as before.
Slightly overlap the scraps from earlier over the edges of the larger piece and then run the rolling pin over again so it all blends together.
Carefully lay the pastry over the rolling pin and move it to the pie dish, laying it over.
Gently guide and press it into the bottom and then up the sides.
Use the trimmings to patch up any gaps around the sides by slightly overlapping the joins and pressing them together firmly.
Trim around the edges with a sharp knife.
Place the filling in…WHOOPEE, nearly there!
Place the point of the folded pastry lid in the centre, over the filling and then unfold it.
Depending on the size of your dish, it may lay flat or like this one, can be slightly tucked in around the filling so that the edges of the bottom and the top pastry match perfectly (which will look nicer).
Use a fork to press the edges together and then…
Use a sharp knife to stab some air vents into the top.
Use a pastry brush to glaze the entire top with the egg-wash and then…
…if using them, sprinkle the sesame seeds all over the top.
Place it in the oven to cook for 40 minutes or until the pastry underneath is a nice, even brown.
- I slide a slim metal spatula down the side and gently lift it up to have a look. This is where glass bakeware really earns its keep.
Keepin’ it fresh – Will keep, well covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. To reheat, wrap it in tinfoil with some holes pierced into the top and reheat it in the oven at the same temperature it was cooked on.
- Of course, you can reheat it in the microwave but you know the pastry will soften. 🙁