Monday, March 29, 2010

Chicken and Button Mushroom Pie (and Hobs)

Yes, I love puff pastry. And I love nice hot pies from the oven. So for Sunday dinner I followed this Chicken & Mushroom Puff Pie recipe from the Good Food website. As suggested, I also prepared a side dish of gently cooked spinach with pine nuts and garlic - the spinach is inexpensive (£1 for the bag) but the cost of pine nuts is sinful.

But, before we get started, I wanted to say a bit about the word "hob." I'm familiar with stovetops, ranges, and ovens but "hob" (as it says on the appliance in our kitchen) was new to me. I'm assuming that it refers to the stovetop and so, until I figure out otherwise, will use the word in that way because it's shorter and cuter than "stovetop." Which leads me to mention Aga cookers. I've read about these (we don't have one) and, I have to say, I'm intrigued.

Serves 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 90 minutes

1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 boneless chicken thighs
8 rashers streaky bacon
1 red onion
250g pack baby button mushrooms
handful fresh rosemary sprigs
handful fresh thyme sprigs
2 tbsp plain flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk
1 roll of puff pastry
1 egg
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Prep
Roughly chop the onion.
Wash and dry the mushrooms.
Gather rosemary and thyme from the garden and mince.
Set puff pastry out to come to room temperature.

2. Stovetop - frying pan
Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
Gently season the chicken with rosemary, just half the thyme (saving the other half for later), and a pinch of black pepper. Fry for 5-8 mins until golden brown. Transfer chicken to a separate bowl so that you can reuse the pan.

3. Stovetop - frying pan
Separate the bacon rashers into the pan and fry until crisp.
Add the onion, mushrooms, and the remaining thyme. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Add the flour, mixing well to coat all ingredients.
Remove from hob.

4. Stovetop - large saucepan
Transfer onion and mushroom mixture to a large saucepan and return to hob on medium heat.
Slowly stir in the chicken stock.
Slowly stir in the milk.
When sauce starts to thicken, add the chicken.
Simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Oven - deep dish pie plate
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Spoon the chicken mixture into the baking dish (use a slotted spoon).
(Save most of the sauce for gravy in a later meal.)
Cover pie with roll of puff pastry.
Brush with whisked egg.
Bake for 30 minutes.

6. Serve with fresh spinach and enjoy!

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