Monday, May 6, 2013

Chickens go in... pies come out

After many a mediocre attempt, I think I have just about mastered cooking a roast chook. I use Ina Garten's recipe for Perfect Roast Chicken as the basis (without the carrots and fennel), roasting a chicken atop sliced onions. As the chicken is resting, I puree the onions (infused with chicken juices) and either add this to a gravy I have made from a simple stock (simmered giblets, carrot, parsley, celery, peppercorns) and pan drippings or I add a roux and some milk to make an 'oniony' white sauce. I usually serve the chicken with roasted vegetables (potatoes, pumpkin, parsnip, sweet potato, turnip, carrots) and green peas. I cook enough so I have leftovers. 

My family doesn't seem to much like eating leftovers. If however, I incorporate leftovers into another dish, then this is perfectly acceptable. I use leftover roast chicken, onion gravy / sauce and roast vegetables and peas to make a chicken pie. Without a doubt, the line "Chickens go in and pies come out..." line from Chicken Run is quoted on every occasion I serve Chicken Pie to the family. We are big fans of Aardman animations and the gorgeous and subtle sense of humor they adopt in everything they create. Our family regularly quotes Aardman characters - particularly Wallace and Gromit

As the emphasis on this meal is ease, I use a pre-made pie base and frozen puff pastry to top. I really like the Wholly Wholesome Whole Wheat pie shells for this purpose. Dependent upon my tastes and quantities, I might add spinach, diced carrots onions and peppers (steamed or slightly cooked in a little olive oil), canned or fresh corn, mushrooms, etc. 
A couple of nights ago, I found myself with some leftover rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. I pondered making either a chicken pie or salad. Pie won. I made a white sauce, added some Keen's curry powder, chopped chicken, a packet of thawed frozen spinach and a couple of rough chopped potatoes (quickly steamed in the microwave). I served the pie with some green peas. This dish was liked by all. I thought of serving it with a little mango chutney and had considered adding a few raisins to the chicken filling. Paul was grateful that I hadn't. As the curry aroma reminded all the kids of curried egg sandwiches, we thought some chopped hard-boiled egg might be a good addition too. 

No comments:

Post a Comment