Celebration Chicken Pie

Celebration Chicken Pie

Leftovers has never tasted or looked this good! The intention was not to do something festive with leftovers but as I was making these pies it occurred to me that this will be the perfect recipe to make do with leftovers from the Xmas table. I was watching Bill Granger’s new cooking show a few weeks ago and he made a Moroccan version with olives and preserved lemon added to the chicken mixture. It looked so pretty and celebratory that I had to put my own twist on it.

Celebration Chicken Pie

Celebration Chicken Pie

I thought a light curry version would be great and just played with the flavours to create a really scrumptious and beautiful pie. Serve it with some garlicky roast potatoes and roasted butternut for dinner or a fresh and colourful salad for an al fresco lunch.

The recipe was developed for making the filling from scratch but I have also a added a recipe below to make it with a few cups of leftover chicken that you want to give a makeover.

Celebration Chicken Pie

Celebration Chicken Pie

Celebration Chicken Pie

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces of chicken, thighs and drumsticks, skin on
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 thumb ginger, peeled and thinly grated
  • 2 teaspoons hot curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • olive oil and butter for frying
  • 1 onion, quartered and sliced
  • 400g mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage
  • 100g dried apricots, chopped into small chunks
  • 1 cup peas (frozen or fresh)
  • 8 sheets phyllo pastry
  • melted butter for brushing
  • With Leftovers
  • 2 – 3 cups leftover chicken or other meat, shredded
  • olive oil and butter for frying
  • 1 onion, quartered and sliced
  • 400g mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons hot curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage
  • 100g dried apricots, chopped into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup leftover gravy (or stock thicken with some cornstarch)
  • 1 cup peas (frozen or fresh)
  • 8 sheets phyllo pastry
  • melted butter for brushing

Instructions

  1. Fry the onions in some oil until translucent in a casserole dish with a lid. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a few more minutes. Add the curry powder, mixed spice, turmeric and stir. Add the chicken portions, white wine and stock. Give it all a good stir, add the bay leaf and simmer covered for 30 – 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
  2. Remove the chicken and let it cool. While the chicken is cooling let the poaching liquid simmer uncovered until thick (about 30 minutes) and set aside.
  3. Remove the skin, debone and shred the chicken into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
  5. In a deep casserole dish, fry the onion in some oil with a knob of butter until translucent. Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry for about 5 – 10 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through. Add the lemon rind, sage and apricots and mix well. Stir in the shredded chicken and add the peas. Add some of the thickened poaching liquid, stir and check the seasoning. The mixture must be moist but not saucy.
  6. Place one sheet of phyllo pastry on a baking sheet and brush with melted butter. Place another sheet on top at an angle and brush with butter. Place a quarter of the chicken filling in the middle. Fold the top sheet of phyllo across the filling to form a parcel making sure it does not tear anywhere. Fold the bottom layer of phyllo across the parcel folding it loosely on top. Brush with butter. Repeat the procedure until you have four parcels.
  7. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the lower half of the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown. If the pastry browns too quickly turn the heat down to 180 degrees C
  8. Makes 4 individual pies
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Wine recommendation from Conrad Louw: I love pies. All pies, as long as they were made with great ingredients and a dash of ingenuity. So, I am afraid garage pies are excluded. This pie ticks all the taste-factor boxes, layered with fragrance from a dash of curry, some subtle sweetness form apricots and a hint of lemon oils. So you need a big wine to pair with this pie.
Several wines may work, but I would go straight to one of the Swartland’s revolutionary wines such as Eben Sadie’s Sequillo White 2012. Being a blend of Chenin Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Viognier, Verdelho, Semillon Blanc and Semillon Gris you have something to compliment every aspect of this pie. Being a typical “great white” from the Swartland, you just cannot go wrong. But don’t just buy one bottle. Whilst they are out there, get what you can – they are very age worthy. Besides, making a meal out of this, you will need more than one bottle anyway!

 

 

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