Saturday, April 14, 2012

Easter Pie

If I had to choose my favourite English dinner, I think it'd probably be a pie of some kind. I just can't resist them. When I go out for a pub meal, you can guarantee that I'll choose a good, hearty pie. I'm not fussy about what's in it (as long as it's not offal preferably - I mean, I like meat, but not that much), providing it's hot and tasty and not too stodgy. Well seeing as Abbey and I were both pining for family time and some traditional English food to go with it (even we get sick of French food occasionally!), we decided to try out a pie recipe from one of Abbey's recipe books, 'Easy Comfort Food' and made the most delicious chicken, lardon and veg pie that you could imagine. And it was just what we fancied after a cycle around the Parc de la Tête d'Or on a blustery Easter afternoon. I'm not sure whether I've made a pie before actually, so for a first attempt I was pretty impressed! I even made the pastry myself. Except that's where it went a bit wrong actually! Normally I'm quite good at pastry-making, but I was slightly disappointed with myself this time. I didn't do quite enough to cover the top, so I had to be a bit inventive when covering it. Of course, I completely intended to put crosses across the top to fit with the Easter theme...


The filling made up for the pastry though (although it didn't taste horrendous, it's just that its appearance left a lot to be desired for!). Perhaps a little on the salty side (the lardons were probably the reason for this), but extremely tasty and it definitely fits into the comfort food category. Fairly easy to make too, if you've made pastry before and certainly worth giving a try. A lovely, satisfying dinner that made us feel just that little bit closer to home! I also had the luxury of using an efficient oven that you DON'T have to light with a match to switch it's the small things in life!

I've given you the quantities below for pastry that WILL cover the top of your pie from the trusty BeRo website (I live by their little recipe book - so worth buying)! So it won't look as messy as mine...

Chicken, Lardon and Veg Pie   serves 3-4 (depending on how hungry you are!)

For the pastry:
225g Plain Flour
Pinch Salt
100g Margerine (N.B. using half lard, half margerine will make a tastier pastry)
2 tbsp Cold Water
For the filling:
200g Chicken, cut into bite-sized chunks
100g Lardons
1 Onion, chopped
Whatever veg you fancy adding!
3 tbsp Plain Flour
250ml Chicken Stock
125ml Single Cream
1tsp Parsely
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. To make the pastry, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Rub in the fat. 
  4. Using a knife to cut and stir, add the cold water and combine to make a stiff dough.
  5. Leave to rest in the fridge before using whilst making the filling.
  6. For the filling, stir fry the chicken in a large pan until cooked through.
  7. Add the lardons, followed by the onion and continue cooking until golden brown.
  8. Add the flour and stir until it coats everything in the pan.
  9. Add the chicken stock and cream and mix well.
  10. Put the veg in as well then leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  11. Season well and add the herbs and seasoning, then put the mixture into a large ovenproof dish.
  12. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface so it is about 0.5cm thick.
  13. Cover the filling with the pastry and trim off  any excess.
  14. Press down firmly at the edges and press down with a fork.
  15. Cut a vent in the middle of about 3cm.
  16. Cover with an egg wash and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
  17. Remove from the oven, serve with your choice of veg and mash if you're feeling really hungry and enjoy!

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