Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Chicken & Green Pepper Pie

This pie is perfect for those cold winter evenings with family or friends. I made a huge version whilst skiing in Meribel for a group of 12, and they still talk about it to this day! The recipe is simple, scalable, and can be made in advance - ready to chuck in the oven when stomachs start rumbling!

Top tip: If you like garlic, you can add a little - but don't over-garlic this one!

For a 12 inch cake tin, serves 4-5 happily


Chicken Breast - 4
Green Pepper - 1
Large handful of Button Mushrooms
Condensed Mushroom Soup - 1 tin
Nutmeg (freshly grated or ground) - 1 tsp
Olive Oil - 1 tsp
Plain Flour - 4 tbsp
Puff Pastry - 1 packet (about 500g)

1. Grab your chicken breasts and remove any excess fat. Dice the chicken into chunks, about 2cm big. On a plate, dust the chicken in ground nutmeg - so that the meat looks speckled, but not covered.

2. Take out the core and seeds from the green pepper with a sharp knife, and slice the green pepper into strips from top to bottom. Cut the strips in half. Slice the button mushrooms to your preferred taste.

3. Warm the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, and then add the dusted and diced chicken. Stir fry until the chicken is just cooked through, then add the sliced green pepper and mushrooms.
Continue stir frying for another minute.

4. Add the tin of condensed mushroom soup (add salt and pepper to season to taste), and allow it to simmer while you start rolling out the puff pastry.

5. Dust your cooking surface and rolling pin with a little plain flour. Cut the pastry into two halves (one for the top, one for the bottom of the pie) and roll out the pastry to about 1/2cm thickness. Make sure the halves cover the size of your pie tin!
Grease the pie tin by rubbing a little butter all over the insides, and lay your pastry bottom in the tin. At this point there should be some excess pastry overhanging the edges of the pie tin.

6. Allow your chicken/mushroom mixture to cool slightly before you pour the filling into the pie tin. Lay the pastry top over the mixture, and seal the edges by pressing around them with a fork. Carefully cut the excess pastry from the edges, and these can be used as decoration by cutting them into leaf shapes and placing neatly on top of the pie.
Make two cuts in the top of the pie with a knife to let the steam out while cooking.
(Some people say brush the top with a little milk, not 100% necessary, but it looks good!)

7. Put the whole tin into a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees Celsius, and cook for about 20-45 minutes. You'll know it's done when the pastry is nicely browned on top!

Serve with new potatoes, green beans, or broccoli.

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