This is the first in a series of 4 – February is Pie Month! I am going to cook a pie a week and have invited friends over each week to help me eat them. This week, a classic chicken and leek, called for some reason, leek and chicken. (From Reader’s Digest Cookery Year (1976), from the March chapter by Katie Stewart.)
- This is a very straightforward. I had no problems at any point. This is such a wonderful, reliable book, I feel I know what I’m doing at all times.
- I used a 1.8kilo chicken.
- I don’t own a proper pie dish and decided to use a casserole dish but this necessitated using a pie-steam-releasing-whatnot.
- I have never cooked with lard before! I intend to freeze the leftover lard in portions so I don’t feel obliged to use it all up in the next 2 weeks. Keep solid fats to a minimum, kids!
- I decided to go off-recipe when I came to decoration and side-dishes. I made mashed potatoes and squash with caramelised onions and spring greens with bacon.
I was just a little bit proud of this as I have never made shortcrust pastry or poached a chicken before – the pastry was light and finely crumbly (claggy pastry was my biggest fear) and the leeks and chicken were perfectly cooked and as flavoursome as one would hope, given the small amount of seasoning. The recipe suggests too much cream – there was some leftover at the bottom of the dish – I think about half the amount suggested would be fine. The pie was served to 3 peckish friends who demolished it and whose only criticism was that a bit more flavour, in the form of more herbs in the stock, would be welcome. When I cook this again, I will certainly do this, as well as adding some wine when I poach the chicken.
Next week: Limoges Potato Pie
Edit: Limoges Potato Pie cancelled due to illness. Alix is pie-ing instead! Also, our friend Miss South, at North/South Food, had a go at the same recipe.
Pied by Elly