The day didn’t get any warmer and thinking about dinner I decided we had to have something hearty and yummy. I had some chicken thighs in the fridge (quelle surprise! – no not at all – we always have chicken thighs) and had to pop down to the village for a few other ingredients. The walk was refreshing and by the time I returned Mr MWCED had lit the fire and was kicking back with a red wine. I know I should have made the pastry, but bought is just so easy…….
The base recipe was off the Taste.com.au website. Below is my take on it:
1 tablespoon olive oil
450g chicken thigh fillets, trimmed
1 leek, thinly sliced
100g pumpkin, peeled and cut into tiny cubes – the original recipe had mushrooms, but they don’t get a look in at our house, so pumpkin was a perfect substitute
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
80ml (1/3 cup) pouring cream
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
handful of thyme and parsley, cut finely
40g (1/2 cup) grated gruyere – the magic fridge didn’t have gruyere so I subbed Mozzarella
2 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, partially thawed
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, partially thawed
1 egg, lightly whisked
Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 3 minutes each side or until almost cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Season. Cool and cut into 2cm pieces.
Add leek and pumpkin to pan. Stir for 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic (add mushroom now if you are using instead of pumpkin). Stir in chicken, cream, mustard, thyme and parsley. Add salt & pepper – as much as works for you. Cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked and sauce has thickened slightly. Take off heat and cool. Stir in cheese.
Preheat oven to 220C. I used four 12cm pie dishes, these don’t require oiling, but yours might. Cut four discs from the shortcrust pastry and line pans. Prick bases with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden. (The original recipe suggested removing pastry cases and placing on a lined baking tray – however I left them as is, and fully baked in the pie tins).
Divide chicken mixture among pastry cases. Now cut four rounds from the puff pastry. (haha, I think someone put some shortcrust back into the puff pastry bag, as it sure didn’t rise like it should have – worked fine though!) Brush the edges with the egg. Place over the chicken mixture, pressing edges to seal. Cut whatever your artistic fancy demands to decorate the top of the pastry. Brush with egg and place on top. Cut a small slit in the top of the pieces. Bake for 10 minutes or until puffed and golden. Let cool a few minutes and then take out of pans – lucky me my pans have a removable base. Obviously this step is redundant if you decided to cook the pies out of the pan when you were at the stage of adding the filling and puff pastry tops.
We ate two pies for dinner and froze two. That will make a quick dinner one night during the week when the magic fridge doesn’t cut it. Definitely tasty and got the thumbs up from Mr MWCED.