250g chicken breast fillets
250g chicken thigh fillets
3 rashers bacon
200g button mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 stick celery
4 smallish (400g) potatoes
3 small (200g) carrots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
½ cup plain flour
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon (powdered) chicken stock
2-3 sheets puff pastry
Pinch of Salt
Dash of Pepper
Directions to Cook:
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Peel carrots and thinly slice into 3mm rounds. Peel potatoes. Halve lengthways and then finely slice. Steam carrot and potatoes until just tender. Drain and set aside.
Dice chicken into 1cm chunks.
Wash and finely slice leek and celery.
Slice mushrooms. Dice bacon.
Heat half of the oil in a heavy-based frypan and cook chicken until just done. Remove from pan and set aside. Melt butter in the same pan with remaining oil and sauté leek and celery together until tender. Add bacon and cook through. Add mushrooms and sauté until just tender. Return chicken to pan. Add cooked carrot and potato and combine well.
Add plain flour and stir through until all ingredients are coated and a thick paste forms. Remove from heat. Mix cream with garlic and stock powder in a jug. Slowly add cream to chicken mixture, stirring in between each addition until sauce is smooth. Return to low-medium heat and bring to boil. Cook 1-2 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide mixture between 6 x 1 ½ cup capacity ramekins.
Cut 6 rounds of puff pastry a little larger than the rim of the ramekin.
Brush rims with a little water and press and pinch pastry down firm around the edges.
Cut a cross into the centre of the pastry for ventilation and brush pastry with beaten egg.
Place pies on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until pastry is golden and flaking.
Open Top Pies:
Cut Shortcrust Pastry rounds to 5cm larger than the pie dish. Gently ease pastry into pie dish and add filling. Fold edges of pastry over to encase filling, leaving the top of the pie open. Brush pastry with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes or until pastry is golden and crisp.
Life for us has been all about survival on a shoestring budget. I've learnt how to live on very basic (and cheap) staples and I cook from scratch and don't buy prepackaged mixes of anything. I've raised three happy and healthy kids and I believe that food is central to good communication and a happy and connected life!
Close to Home
Tales from the front line of parenting. These were some of the happiest days of my life.
I have an unpublished cookbook manuscript that lives on my kitchen bench. This is the collection that I have fed my family from for many years, all made from a core list of practical and economical ingredients. The manuscript is splattered with butter, flour and milk from daily use. It moves between the kitchen and the office as I edit and test-kitchen the recipes.