Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Pie for Pi day

Typically tardy I know, but my intentions were there nonetheless.

Pi day wikipedia tells us, is a festival celebrating the number Pi. Being utterly appalling at maths, apart from where recipes are concerned - where it actually means something as opposed to being an abstract concept.  Pi day is the 14th March (3/14 if you're American) and to celebrate I, naturally, made pie.

I've been making this pie since Christmas when I saw it's inspiration on one of Jamie Oliver's programmes. Well I say I saw it at Christmas, I saw it towards the end of January when I was well enough to stay awake for more than ten minutes at a time. Since we had long finished the turkey by then I've used chicken thighs or leftover roast chicken each time. This is my rough recipe. I've done it with both puff and shortcrust pastry (I made the shortcrust, bought the puff) and serves 4 hungry people.

4 large leeks, finely sliced
Big knob butter

Wash the leeks in a colander and whilst still damp put in a large pan with a lid that you've melted the butter in. I season with salt and pepper and then put the lid on and turn the heat right down. I let them cook like this for half an hour so they steam in the melted butter and water. It makes them sticky, sweet and impossibly creamy. So much so, my boyfriend who told me he hated leeks, really enjoys this.

500g Chicken thighs - skinned, de-boned and cut into peices
Olive oil
2 tblsps Plain flour
2 pints chicken stock (I've also used veg bouillon to no ill effect)
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
250g mushrooms (I cooked these in with the leeks actually)
More salt and pepper

The next stage is equally simple, if I'm using chicken thighs I cook them until they've started to brown in the olive oil with a little salt and pepper. If I'm using leftovers I just shred the cooked chicken into the leek pan (this is why I said a big pan!)
I then add the flour, and stir until it's mixed in (I know this sounds vague, but when it stops feeling grainy is the best way I can describe it)
Add the stock and stir again, the flour will dissolve into the stock and it will go cloudy and start to thicken, but slowly.
Add the creme fraiche and bring to a slow boil - at this point I taste and season again. I tend to let it boil for about 10 minutes or so, just gently.
Now, this is the slightly odd bit. You drain all of this in a big colander over a jug. There's no need to squish it down or anything, as it needs some moisture, but let the sauce drip out. This becomes your gravy.

Get your pie dish, and tip your filling in.
Then I edge the pie dish with a rim of pastry, which I brush with eggwash, and then stick a pastry lid onto that. Obviously when I've bought the pastry I've rolled it out to make sure it's big enough, and when I've made it I've done so in the food processor (yes I know I'm lazy) using half fat to flour and a tablespoon or so of water. Just blitz the Trex and flour to breadcrumbs then pulse in the water until the pastry goes into a ball. Chill this, wrapped in clingfilm in the fridge for at least half an hour, then roll out.
Once your pastry is on, cut some air holes in (use a pie bird if you have one. I lust after these) and again, egg wash.
Cook in a pre-heated oven at about 180/ Gas mark 6 for about half an hour to forty minutes.

When you're ready to serve, reheat the gravy until it boils, and serve with green veg. It's lush.

So that was my effort for Pi day. Chicken and sweet leek pie (with added mushrooms).


Jules said...

It must be blog about a pie day as I've just blogged a kind of pie too!

This pie looks and sounds delicious delicious.

Penelope said...

It is gorgeous. I love the look of yours though. Wondering if I can get it past M as meat free!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

 photo copyright.jpg
blogger template by envye