Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Let Them Eat......Chicken Pie

Chicken and leek pie with lard pastry crust. Man oh man oh man oh man. God I love it. 
I roasted 3 chickens (meal for 12+) on a bed of vegetables with a bit of wine, a pool of water and some bay and thyme. When they were cooked I took the meat off the bone and made stock from the carcasses and further vegetables.
I then made a veloute (butter, flour, stock) by browning a roux (butter and flour) then adding this rich stock. Meanwhile I sweated some of Sultans fantastic sweet leeks in some olive oil,thyme and a spash of wine. When they was soft I added them to the veloute along with the chicken (the legs following the muscles and the breasts into 5 - 6 chunks/strips. Season. Voila.

Whilst some of this was going on I made pastry for the crust. A digression folows:

When I first started cooking I learnt an infallible way to may shortcrust pastry everytime in large quantities. Whilst this is great for larger scaled cooking it has been a hinderance to small pie for four cooking. If I wasnt making 3 kilos I wasnt making no kilos. And this aint no good. So.......unbelievably I have actually started doing something about it ie making smaller amounts. God how boring sorry. Anyway......the resulst is that I have not only been making smaller amounts more regularly but also different kinds. LARD!!!!!!!!!!!! God lard is good. Not only is it excellent as a sunblock, in the bedroom, on hinges, it is also excellent in cookery. Particularly in pastry. It makes it irrisistably crumbly yet moist (?) in the mouth. So this crumbly yet moist crust goes on top of chicken pie base that makes you want to cry. At this point I season the pastry with rock salt on top. I usually put it in the mix but I was once making pastry with only rock salt available and didnt want it to fuck it up as I rolled it out so I added it on after. That was one of those blessed discoveries. Try it. Him crucnchy. Him nice.
I then baked it and then ate it. Tears of joy streaming down my cheeks (face cheeks). The Lord loves a good pie. I gave them mashed potatoes and spinach as well.
On a down note though I found one of the 5 pepper grinders in the kitchen had not been refilled by the staff.