13 December 2017

Chicken pie

We are a German-South African, Zimbabwean-Irish family so there are endless possibilities for a traditional meal. In our amalgamated family this chicken pie has become our celebration feast for special occasions.

When I came across this recipe, I was put off by the use of filo pastry. Usually I stick to the original ingredients and method when using a new recipe but I decided to use puff pastry instead. And it worked.

I enjoy cooking and baking and like to get my two boys involved. They (and my husband) help to choose the design on top of the pie. I don’t like to waste anything so use my selection of cookie cutters to cut out decorations from the leftover pastry. We have even made one for our friend Minty, spelling out the words ‘Happy Birthday’ in pastry.

Everyone loves this pie and I have had many requests for the recipe and sometimes make it as a gift. We like to eat it hot with boiled new potatoes but it is equally delicious cold and ideal for a picnic.

I hope you enjoy making and eating the pie as much as we do!

Andy Smart

This recipe comes from a South African cookbook called ‘Home Cooking’ by Francois Ferreira. The original recipe uses Filo pastry but I find this too fiddly and prefer puff pastry. I prepare the chicken and the leek mixture the night before so that I only have to assemble everything on the day. I usually serve it with baby potatoes and the pie tastes great cold the next day.

INGREDIENTS

• 60g butter

• 4 bacon rashers

• 6 medium leeks

• 2 cloves garlic

• 30ml flour

• 375ml milk

• 1kg chopped cooked chicken

• 60g grated Parmesan

• 2 eggs

  • Puff pastry

 

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Heat the butter in a saucepan, add the chopped bacon and fry until crispy.

Wash the leeks thoroughly to remove any sand and slice thinly.

Add the crushed garlic and sliced leeks to the bacon and cook over a gentle heat until the leeks are soft.

Add the flour and stir until well combined.

Gradually stir in the warmed milk until the mixture thickens.

Leave to cool.

Boil chicken breasts in some stock and then cut up or use the meat from a roast chicken.

Stir the chicken, cheese and the lightly beaten eggs into the leek and bacon mixture.

Spoon into a 23cm pie dish and top with the puff pastry.

Remember to cut some ventilation holes into the pastry.

Bake until the pastry is brown and crispy (about 40 minutes).

Ovens vary so keep checking the colour of the pastry. The other ingredients are already cooked so really just need to be heated up.