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Monday, 10 October 2011

I know I promised cake...

Hello everyone,

I know it seems I haven't posted in a long time but I have been going through the suit of fire and fine-tuning  them and trying to get them all uniform-ish.  Please realise that errors such as large spaces between paragraphs aren't actually my fault, it's a Blogger thing.  All spelling and grammar errors I will hold up my hands on and say "guilty".  Still I am hoping to get started on the suit of water while we are in Scorpio.

Since I don't have anything new on the tarot to share with you, here are before and after shots of the Chicken mushroom pie I made today.  I know I promised cake, but hopefully pie will be just as good for you.

I've had a couple of requests to share the recipe of this chicken & mushroom pie:

First get two boxes of    

[Yes, I cheat,but it's so easy, just wish it was as cheap in the UK as it in in the USA]

[aside from the Jiffy above]
2 skinless chicken breasts
1 onion
12 mushrooms
3 carrots
1 teaspoon sage fresh [if using dry a bit more, to taste]
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 chicken Oxo cubes [Bullion cubes-USA]
1-2 tablespoons plain flour
Enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan twice, 
[OR enough melted butter if you choose a more rich gravy]

First mix up your pie crust mixes  as advised on the box and roll into two separate even balls of dough...if you are making a big pie like the one pictured you need two boxes of Jiffy, it depends on the size of the pie you are making, that one did two suppers for two people or six at a single sitting if you made some veg  and potatoes to go with and cut the pie in slightly smaller pieces.

Put those dough balls in the fridge while preparing the meat filling

Roll them into two balls and stick them in the fridge

Get out your pie dish and spray with oil or coat in butter, stick this in the fridge too

Chop the onion finely
Cube the carrots
Cube the chicken
Slice the mushrooms

Get out a skillet [frying pan]

Coat the bottom with olive oil [or butter]


When the oil/butter is hot, toss in your onions and the garlic, fry until they are soft

Add the sage

Add the carrots let them start getting soft

Add in the mushrooms

Fry until things are just browning, remove them from heat and take out of the pan and into a separate bowl

Turn on the kettle, heat a kettle of water

Reheat the frying pan, when it's hot again

Add the chicken and quick fry but do not let them get browned too much on the edges

Crumble 2 Oxo cubes over the chicken

When the kettle's boiled, pour the water over the chicken,  filling to about 1 1/2 inches 

Let this cook until it bubbles

Remove from the frying pan

Strain the liquid chicken broth and place in a pitcher

Place chicken in the bowl with the pre-fried veggies

Put the pan back on the heat and make a roux, here's the way to do it:

A demonstration on the procedure used to make the three types of roux: white, blond and brown. Also, an example of how to thicken a liquid with roux is shown.

Just watch the demo on youtube until he starts putting the white roux in a bowl then turn it off, you just need to put the oil/butter into the same frying pan and when it's bubbling and turn down the heat slightly.  [Actually this is an excellent demo so I do recommend watching the whole thing some time when you are not making a pie ;-)]

Pour in about half your pitcher of chicken broth, stir until smooth---I have a couple of a silicone spatula that I use instead of the whisk like he does in the demo. Because pie gravy needs to be hearty enough so when you cut the pie it doesn't leak all over your plates, not nice for entertaining make sure you go no further than white roux---blonde roux is not thick enough and make the chicken gravy too dark.

Because we are just building the basis of gravy we are not making roux to use later you do not need to use a different pot or cool it before using, just do it in the frying pan.  

Put the rest in gradually until the gravy is the right consistency for you, if you don't have enough liquid, you can top up with milk for a chicken pie, makes it whiter [or water if you prefer]

Taste it and add any salt-n-pepper, to your taste

Turn off the heat

Add all the chicken and vegetables into the gravy and stir well

Sit it aside to cool down

Turn on the oven to 200 C or 180 degrees C fan assisted or 350 F

Get out a small cup with a small amount of milk in it and a pastry brush

Get out your doughballs from the fridge and roll them out

Place the first pie crust on the bottom of the pre-greased and cold pie dish, press it down

Take a fork and prick the bottom pie crust about a dozen times

Trim it with your knife or a kitchen scissors

Add the gravy, meat & veg into the pie pan

Smooth it down with a spoon

Take up your second pie crust and place it over the top, from the centre pat down gently until you get to the edges 

Flip all the edges up carefully

With your pastry brush and paint on milk around the edges of the bottom pie crust

Carefully roll the edges back down [if you want you can easily do this in sections, you just need to get the milk on the bottom pie crust as this will act like a glue between the pie crusts]

Pinch all the edges together around 


If you want to get fancy, roll out the remaining dough and cut with a cookie cutter and paint with milk and stick down to the top of the pie [I used two star-shaped cutters]

Don't forget to cut some holes in the top with a knife so the pie can breathe

Brush milk over the whole top of the pie

Bake in the oven for an hour

Check it at 45 minutes,  just to make sure it's not getting too brown

Let it set a bit before cutting into it


You can make this pie with any fillings you have---any vegetables, meat, potatoes, etc., or  invent a new one! 

Key thing---the colder the dough is before it goes into the oven the nicer gold it bakes, milk also helps the colouring to be golden brown.  I even wash my hands in cold water before using the dough and that seems to work [got this tip from an English friend]

While researching Roux, I came upon this video that made me smile a lot and think of Gilda Radner on Saturday Night Live in a wig dontcha think?

Best Wishes,
Gabrielle Elliot

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