We’re on even more of a budget than usual this month so I’m trying to be thrifty and make our supermarket shop last as long as possible. This isn’t always easy with a house full of huge appetites, but I think I’m up to the challenge.
Roasting a good quality chicken is a great place to start. As well as the yummy roast dinner, there’s usually a decent amount of meat left on the bird, along with the stock you can make with the carcass and bones.
I had a bit of shortcrust pastry lurking in the freezer so I decided a chicken pie was in order! After browsing through my recipe books, magazines and the web I eventually found a family-friendly sounding recipe on the Good Food website. I’ve adapted it a bit to suit the tastes of my picky boys but you can look at the orginal recipe here.
The great thing about the filling is that it’s comforting, creamy and very tasty. You pick whatever vegetables you’ve got around to go in, and because they’re coated in this yummy sauce the kids are far more likely to give them a try.
If pastry isn’t your thing, then you could just serve the chicken filling with rice or potatoes and it’d be equally delicious.
It’s a great supper for cold dark evenings – we had ours on Halloween hence the spooky pastry ghosts on top of the pie!
Creamy roast chicken pie (Serves 4-6)
1 small onion, finely chopped
40g plain flour
400-500ml milk, warmed
1 chicken stock cube or pot
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp mustard powder
250g roast chicken, cut into bite size pieces
200g mixed veg – sweetcorn, peas, broccoli, carrots, peppers etc – take your pick! (I lightly pre-cooked the carrots and broccoli)
250g shortcrust pastry
1 egg beaten, or milk for glazing
1. Heat the oven to 200′C/Fan 180′C/Gas 6. Melt the butter in the pan over a medium heat, then cook the onion in it for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the flour to the pan and stir to make a thick paste – if you’re using a stock cube add it to the flour and stir well (if you’re using a gel-type stock pot then wait till you add the milk). Cook over a low heat for 2 mins.
3. Slowly add 400ml of the warm milk to the pan, stirring all the time. (If you’re using a gel-type stock pot, add it to the pan once all the milk has been added) Stir in the nutmeg and mustard powder and season with salt and pepper if desired. Add the bay leaf and bring to the boil, stirring all the time.
4. Once the sauce has thickened, place on a very low heat. (If it’s too thick just add the rest of your warm milk) Add your chicken and vegetables to the sauce, stir thoroughly and then pour into your pie dish.
5. Roll out your pastry on a clean floured surface until it’s big enough to cover your pie dish. Lift it carefully off the surface using your rolling pin to support it, and then place it over the dish. Trim off any excess pastry from the edges of the dish. Press the pastry onto the rim of the dish using a fork. You can use your pastry trimmings to make nice shapes to stick on top of your pie. Get some pastry cutters out and let your kids take over!
6. Brush the top of your pie with the beaten egg or milk. Make a small hole in the centre of the pastry to allow steam to escape. Place the pie in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown.
It was perfect fodder for fuelling the boys up for their Trick or Treat session!
Our local streets were inundated with mini witches, skeletons and ghouls on Sunday night – it was such a lovely atmosphere.
We may live in London, but it certainly feels like we’ve got a strong community-feel around here!