Thursday, 14 October 2010


Well, I have learned to make pickle, chutney and jam this year. I thought I'd top it off by learning to make a good old-fashioned double-crust pie. I bought Angela Boggiano's lovely book "Pie" months ago and have been meaning to try it out, and with leeks finally reaching a decent size on the allotment, her chicken, leek and tarragon pie seemed perfect!

I found a set of individual pie dishes in our local charity shop and used those, instead of making one big pie like the recipe suggests. And of course, I made a few other changes too...

Chicken, Leek and Tarragon Pie
(serves four)
  • Place a 1.5kg chicken in a large saucepan with a chopped onion, a chopped carrot, a tsp or two of tarragon, black pepper and a big pinch of celery salt. Add enough water to cover, bring to the boil, and simmer for 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. (Actually, I had a pack of diced chicken to use up so I put that in instead - and it was much quicker too.)
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to cool.
  • Continue to simmer the stock, until it is reduced by half.
  • Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil and a knob of butter in a pan, add a small chopped onion and two chopped leeks, and saute gently until soft. At this point I added a big handful of sliced mushrooms too.
  • Turn the heat up high, add 150ml wine and cook until reduced by half. Stir in 2 tbsps flour and mix in very well.
  • Pour in 150ml cream and 150ml of the stock, and a splash of lemon juice. Season to taste.
  • Shred the chicken into small pieces and stir into the sauce mixture along with another tsp of tarragon.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Now line your pie dish(es). I confess I bought my pastry, and chose puff rather than shortcrust as recommended - I love puff pastry! Leave a little overhang round the edge on the bottom crust, and don't forget to cut round your dish for the top piece before you fill it!
  • Fill the pie with the chicken mixture, brush round the top edge with beaten egg and lay the lid in place. Crimp the edges together with your fingers to seal, then trim any excess away and brush the top with more beaten egg to glaze.
  • Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and golden.

Wow! Not bad for a first-timer, huh? The flavour of this pie was soooo good - the wine and cream and lemon and tarragon really make it something special. And what made the meal even better was that I served a load of other NomeGrown goodies with it too - roast potatoes of course, and I took the NomeGrown onions and carrots from the stock and added garlic, chard and peas for a delicious medley of vegetables on the side.


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Green Lane Allotments said...

Did you make any to freeze?

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