Chicken Pot Pie
One of my readers tells me that her daughter “inhaled” this pie, which (as long as she was talking figuratively), must be a good thing. You could poach the chicken in water & herbs alone, but trust me, that the addition of ½ bottle of (your husband’s best) white wine enhances flavour no end. And once it is open, you may as well have a glass too… Buy whole organic US chickens from Jett Foods in HK for $180 and if it's your first order, use "mangomenus" discount code for 15% off that price. Inhale!
What you need:
One whole chicken weighing around 1.3kg
Herbs and vegetables to put in the stock e.g. ½ large onion, 1 carrot, 1 clove of garlic, sprig/pinch of of thyme, rosemary (dried/fresh)
Half bottle of white wine
Salt & pepper
1 leek, chopped into rings
200g frozen peas
2 large carrots
2 large potatoes
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 beaten egg
Rinse your chicken under the tap and remove any giblets inside (if there are any). Put it in a large saucepan and pour in half a bottle of white wine, then pour water on top until the chicken is completely immersed. Then add a clove of garlic, half an onion and a pinches/sprigs of thyme, rosemary and or sage. Season with salt and pepper, and turn up the heat to the max. Once it is boiling, put the lid on and turn down the heat, allowing it to simmer gently for 50 minutes.
During this time, peel and chop your carrots and potatoes into large chunks (each about the size of a plum) and boil in salted water for 8 minutes. They should still be a little al dente.
While your chicken simmers and vegetables boil, melt the butter in a pan and add your chopped leeks and the remaining half of the onion, finely chopped. Let them soften gently in the butter for around 10 minutes.
Take a deep casserole dish, and place the potatoes, carrots, leeks, and frozen peas in it.
When is chicken is nearly ready, heat the oven to 190C.
Once your chicken is cooked (after an hour) remove it from the pan then turn the heat on the pan so it boils and reduces the stock.
Pull apart the chicken and place perfect pieces of it (avoiding bone, cartilage and sinewy bits) in the casserole pot with your veg.
Pour a little of the reduced stock from the pan in the pot, allowing 1.5 inches from the top clear.
Break an egg into a bowl and whisk it quickly with a fork. Then paint around the top of the casserole dish on the outside. Remove your puff pastry sheet from the fridge and place it on top of the casserole dish fairly swiftly. Pat down on the sides and brush all over with a little beaten egg, but do not leave any puddles as they will cause it to sink.
Whack it in the oven at 190C. If you watch it cook it will first sink a little, but do not despair as it will rise again triumphantly for the finish. And serve it immediately, preferably with a dollop of piccalilli the side. It you wait to serve it will also sink….