Chicken, mushroom and leek pie a l'anglaise
If it ever crossed my mind of having some sort of gastronomic business, I know exactly what I would really want to do. And of course it would run around the humble pie. My dream place would be some sort of a quintessentially brittish gastro pub, complete with roaring fireplace, cozy table nooks, a warm decor, that served really tasty menus based on pies, ales and beers and good portuguese wines and cheeses. I'd tackle all sorts of pies, from sweet to savoury, from the common ground chicken pie, to a rich game pie, from the basic apple pie to the challenge of a mince pie, I'd have them all. Heck, I'd even try to conjure some sort of fish pie!! But alas, sadly I lack the money to invest, and what is even sadder is that Portugal's fashionistic hip gastronomic treasure of the moment is the gourmet hamburger - hence tripping on a new hambuger place every 100 yards! - that has not conquered me at all, nor ever will. So it is no surprise at all that when my husband asked what I would like to eat for my birthday dinner that my reply was "I want a chicken pie!". And so he cooked me a chicken pie, and I was all the more happy for it.
Now, this is no ordinary chicken pie. This is very much a l'anglaise, because it has only a crust topping, no bottom and no sides. And it was made with free range chicken and organic mushrooms and leeks. They do taste better than the canned or frozen ones, I admit, so when I can get my hands on them, I do prefer cooking with these. But on a normal day basis it is not always possible, and since there is no good farmer's market where I live, I have to do my shopping on supermarkets where the quality is not their priority, with fruits and veg that has been kept in refrigerators for months, I do prefer buying certain things frozen. Like leeks. Or peas. But I digress. On with the making of the pie. For the pastry crust you will need:
- 100 gr flour
- 50 gr butter (aproximately)
- five or six table spoons of very cold water
Now you can start with your filling. For this you need:
- half a chicken (free range is better) that has been cooked in simmering water until tender and then cut into small pieces and deboned
- 500 ml of chicken stock (you can use the water in which you cooked the chicken, just reduce it a little with some salt)
- a small chorizo, finely chopped
- a large leek, finely chopped
- 200 gr mushrooms or your choice, either fresh, canned, dried or frozen
- Chives, either fresh or dried, we used dried for this
- 1 egg, beaten
- salt and pepper
Start by tendering the leeks in a drizzle of olive oil. Add the chorizo and let it sweat. Once the chorizo looks fried, you can toss your mushrooms and have them cook. They will sweat a lot, and leak water, just let it reduce. By now you should add your chicken, allowing it to brown a little and ix in with the rest f the flavours. Add the chives and the stock, letting it come to a boil. Reduce the heat and start adding the flour with a table spoon, allowing it to cook through and thicken. Once you see the sauce is creamy, get it off the heat and toss it into a pie dish. Cover with the pastry crust, making sure you cut an X into the middle of it to allow the steam out, and brush the crust with the beaten egg so you can get a glossy crust, (we didn't but it does look better), and bake in the oven at 180º for 45 m, or until the crust is flaky and golden. Serve with some salad, or boiled veggies and a good wine - it works with both reds or whites. Bon apetit!!
I really hope you do try this, as it is a treat and quite easy to make. Let me know if you do.