There is a fab bakery near the lake in Canada. My brother shouted out from the porch 'what type of pie does everyone want?'. Personally my favourite is Cherry but others were campaigning for Strawberry Rhubarb, Blueberry or Apple. It was Conrad's first summer visit to Canada...from the dock we heard him shout - Chicken! Ahhh the great cultural divide....
So..when we got back to London I figured out how to make Chicken Pie. This one's for you Conrad!
This is not a quick recipe so start early in the day. It's Mary Berry's recipe with the usual amendments to make it diary free.
1 chicken - Freedom chickens don't have lots of antibiotics stuffed into them so we have to use freedom, or organic otherwise I get a penicillin reaction (nice huh?).
2 pints chicken stock
1 onion, quartered
1 celery stalk, thickly sliced (we omit due to allergies)
2 crushed cloves of garlic
2 small carrots
2 medium waxy potatoes
1.5 oz Pure Sunflower Marg
3 tbs plain flour (we use Dove's Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour)
pinch of grated nutmeg
salt/pepper to taste
4 oz frozen peas
1tbs chopped parsley
6 oz pastry
3 1/2 pint pie dish
In the Morning
In a large pan bring the chicken, stock, onion, celery and garlic to a boil. Simmer 30 mins.
Add the carrots and potatoes (DO NOT CUT THESE UP AT THIS STAGE - YES I'M SHOUTING - FROM BITTER EXPERIENCE) and simmer for another 20 minutes. Leave to cool. This takes quite a while.
Remove the meat from the chicken, cut up the veg.
Skim the fat from the cooking liquid and bring 1 pint of the stock to a boil.
Melt the Pure in a pan, add the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the hot stock, whisking until it comes to a boil and thickens. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Stir in the chicken, diced veg, peas and parsley. Set aside to cool. Again...this takes quite a while.
On a lightly floured (with GF flour) roll out the pastry and cut out the lid. Fill the pie dish and drape over the pie, trim, and press the pastry with fingertips onto the rim of the pie dish. Crimp the edge of the pastry with a fork. Brush the pastry with a little Rice Dream to glaze. Use trimming (re-rolled) to cut out shapes and decorate.
Bake in preheated oven at 190°C, 375°F, Gas 5 for 30 minutes or until the top is crisp and golden.
Molly hates carrots (why???) so we substitute sweet potato.
We all love bacon so I add in about 3 oz cooked lardons
Leeks are a nice addition sometimes, and when Henrietta isn't around I throw in a handful of mushrooms too.
For a creamier pie I add in 1/4 cup of Oately cream and increase the flour/butter mixture to compensate. We like more sauce so increase the stock by 200ml and add 1 extra tbs flour and 1/2 oz more marg when doing the marg/flour mix.
I always, always, forget the parsely.
Use our dairy free Pastry recipe for this dish.
Making pastry need not be a problem for those on a dairy free diet. Below is a great basic recipe from my mothers Betty Crocker Cook Book from 1969!
1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp sale
1/3 cup lard
2 to 3 tablespoons of cold water
Measure and sift the flour and salt into a bowl
Cut in lard thoroughly (use a couple of knives if you don't have a pastry cutter. The mixture should resemble breadcrumbs - I always end up using my hands)
Sprinkle with cold water 1 tablespoon at a time
Mix until all flour is moistened and dough almost cleans the side of the bowl
Gather the dough into a ball, flatten slightly and chill for 20 minutes
Roll out and use as you would any other pastry.
Use Mary Berry's Recipe:
8 oz plain flour
4 oz Pure Margarine (okay...she says butter)
3 tbs cold water
Method as above - although I always need a bit more water. I also put ice cubes in the water to keep it cold.
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