Monday, January 27, 2014

Chicken, tarragon and mushroom pie

The Boy has decided that he would do all the cooking for tonight's dinner again and has picked a pie recipe. He's going to have me on stand by to help with any questions but has decided that he will try as much as possible to do it all himself. He's very, very excited about it.

He has found a recipe for a chicken, tarragon and mushroom pie from the cook book The Chef behind the bar by Scott Thomas.

Here's the RECIPE for the pie(s):

Chicken, tarragon and mushroom filling:
  • 500g boned and skinless chicken thigh meat, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Plain flour
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stick of celery, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 100g button mushrooms, cut in quarters
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • Chicken stock
  • Double cream
  • Small bunch of tarragon, picked and chopped

Pie crust:
  • 1 egg
  • Splash of milk
  • Puff pastry*

* Making puff pastry is satisfying but time-consuming. For home cooking, buy from a local baker or the best quality from a supermarket.
Chicken, tarragon and mushroom filling:
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Toss in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  • Fry chicken in small batches until well colored (turned brown).
  • Saute the onion, carrot and celery until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the bay leaf, thyme and white wine and cook until reduced.
  • Add the chicken and enough chicken stock to just cover. (about 500ml of chicken stock).
  • Cook at a gentle simmer for around an hour, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked and tender. Finish with a splash of cream.
  • Adjust the seasoning, add tarragon and set aside.

Pie crust:
  • Lightly grease individual pie moulds and line with pastry, leaving a little overhang.
  • Fill with the pie mix and brush some of the eff wash around the edge.
  • Place a lid on top and squeeze down the edges to create a seal.
  • Refridgerate before trimming the excess overhand. Brush the top with the remaining egg wash before baking.
  • Preheat an oven to 180 degrees C and bake the pies for about 16 - 18 minutes.
  • If the tops start becoming too dark, cover with aluminum foil and continue baking.
  • Before turning out the pies, check the bases are cooked and golden.

To serve:
  • Serve with a side of mash or handcut chips.

The cooking process went very well. The Boy didn't have too many questions and managed most things on his own. I think I only butted in about 4 or 5 times. :-)

The recipe didn't say how much flour to use, but we ended up using about 4 tablespoons.

It also didn't say how much chicken stock to use, but we ended up using about 500ml of stock to just cover the filling.

We put the mixture into the oven to simmer at 110 degrees C for 1 hour rather than do it on the stove top. I just like doing it that way better because the heat is more consistent and it is a lot safer. Plus, you don't end up burning the filling, which can happen if you do not watch it closely.

Simmering in the oven

After we took the filling out of the oven, it looked to still be quite watery, so I put it back on the stove and did a high simmer for about 7 minutes to reduce the liquid so that it was thicker. That worked out very well as it needed constant watching and stirring to make sure it didn't burn.

We did not have pie dishes, so we used soup bowls instead. We lined the bottom of the soup bowls and then filled in the filling and covered it following the instructions and then crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. :-) We'll need to invest in some pie dishes if we plan on making more pies, which we will, because I love pie.

By the way, the filling is so gosh darned tasty!!!

Well, the pies turned out to be amazing. The soup bowls worked out very well.

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