About this recipe:This is a very tasty chicken and vegetable pie which the family love and my kids who don't like vegetables very much will always eat this quite happily and often go back for another one. I batch bake these now along with everything else so for months now I have not bought anything from the freezer section. I always make my own food for the freezer. Tastes a lot better and you know everything that goes into it.
Makes: 4 individual deep dish pies
1 tablespoon olive oil
500g diced chicken breast fillets
1 onion, chopped
1 pinch salt and ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon paprika
100ml cream sherry
300ml (1/2pt) water
1 chicken stock cube
100ml double cream
125ml drained sweetcorn
For the bechamel sauce
28 to 57g butter
1 pinch black pepper
1 tablespoon plain flour
300ml (1/2pt) milk
For the flaky pastry
225g (8oz) butter
225g (8oz) plain flour
1 pinch salt
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Add olive oil to pan and add diced chicken breast, onion and salt and pepper, fry on a medium heat until chicken is browned, about 5 minutes.
Once chicken is browned add diced garlic, diced carrot and spices and mix well. Cook over low heat for around 2 minutes then add sherry. Simmer for 5 minutes in the sherry and then add the water, stock cube and cream and simmer again for another 10 minutes. Stir in the sweetcorn.
While mixture is simmering, get another pot and make your bechamel sauce. Put 30-60g butter in the pan with a sprinking of black pepper. Melt on a medium heat ensuring it does not burn.
As soon as butter has melted, remove pan from heat and add in flour and mix with a spoon very quickly until you have a yellow buttery paste. Add in the milk gradually and stir very quickly (or you will end up with lumps). Once you start adding more milk, put the pan back on heat and keep stirring all the time. When the mixture starts to thicken and before the boiling point, turn off the hob and then add the sauce to the chicken mixture.
Simmer for a further 5 minutes and stir occasionally to ensure it does not stick and burn.
Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
Mix butter, flour and salt together and then add in water. Pastry should hold together but not be too wet or too dry. Break in 2 and wrap in cling film and put in fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.
Roll out on a floured surface to the size you need and then add to mixture in dish.
Bake pies in the preheated oven until golden, about 35 minutes.
If your bechamel sauce goes lumpy but tastes okay, then try sieving it to ensure no lumps added to chicken mixture.
I batch bake these now and put them in individual deep pie dishes (bought from local supermarkets) and freeze them. I usually double the mixture so there are pies for eating that day and pies for the freezer. It saves time and money.
This was great! Living in El Salvador I could not get all the ingredients. Replaced cream + water with milk (so 400ml altogether), didn't have paprika, used fresh ginger, and whiskey instead of sherry....apart from that it was the same! Did it as a pie last week, then as a saucy dish thing with noodles (or rice or potatoes) this week. Children and me love it. Wife is vegetarian so just leave out meat for her and add extra veg (and spices), goes down well. It's been great for my confidence, as it is another dish I can add (and modify) in my small repitoire. - 02 Sep 2013