This is another one from the recipes around the world chapter and is a dish from South Africa. This is definitely a recipe for the weekend, it does take a bit of time and effort
A 3 lb chicken
1.5 pints water
1 level tbsp salt
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
3 carrot sliced
2 onions quartered
2 sticks of celery sliced
5 sprigs of parsley
2 oz thinly sliced ham
2 hard boiled egg
1 oz butter
1 oz flour
2-3 tbsps sherry
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 level tsp sugar
A pinch of ground mace
A pinch of pepper
1 egg yolk
8 oz shortcrust pastry
Egg to glaze
Quarter the chicken, put in in a large pan with the water, salt, allspice, peppercorns, bay leaves, vegetables and parsley stalks. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Take out the veg and chicken and strain the stock. Cut the veg up into small peices, remove the meat from the bones. Put into a large pie dish alternate layers of chicken, veg, ham and egg.
Melt the butter, gradually stir in the flour with half a pint of the stock, sherry, lemon juice, mace and pepper. Cook until the sauce is thick and smooth. Beat the egg yolk and stir slowly into the sauce heating gently, stirring until thick but not boiling. Pour this sauce over the chicken and veg. Cover with the pastry then using a sharp knife cut a short line from the centre towards each corner and then fold each triangle back leaving an open square. Brush all over with egg and bake at 220 for 25 minutes.
This is probably the longest list of ingredients I’ve come across in the book so far, but don’t let that put you off. This can be done in stages; you can have the chicken and veg cooked earlier in the day, combine the pie slightly later on and then cook it when you are ready.
I did make my own pastry, again it’s the recipe from the book that I’ve posted before. I made that earlier in the day and left in the fridge.
I did buy a whole chicken and quartered it myself. Not sure you could call them quarters though, more like random pieces of chicken! You could make this with thighs or legs or a mixture if you don’t fancy trying to cut up the chicken.
Once the chicken and veg were ready I removed the chicken and then foolishly strained the rest, forgetting that I needed the veg. It was now mixed in with all the peppercorns and bay leaves, so was a bit time consuming trying to make sure I kept all the veg but not the peppercorns!
Making the sauce was easy enough, it’s really amazing the way the egg yolk transforms the sauce. One of the best tips from this book!! The sauce is really thick so when I poured it over the mix it just really sat on the top. I didn’t want to put the pastry straight onto that so I left it for a few minutes to cool and to allow the sauce to slowly mix down through the layers.
I had a lot of pastry left over so I’ve kept the rest and will either freeze for another day or make something else this week.
We just had this with some potatoes as the pie does have a decent amount of veg in it! It’s a bit messy to serve but I don’t think that matters as it tastes great! The chicken is lovely and soft, I was thinking it could end up being over cooked but I think because it was boiled in water first helped keep it moist. The vegetables are really tender and full of flavour, but it’s the sauce that brings it all together and really is great.
I know this recipe involves a bit more effort, planning and prep but it is a lovely pie and well worth the extra effort!
Would I make this again? Most definitely