Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Recovery..for now

We appear to have survived the holiday and Easter onslaught.   It was all great fun,  with lots of people through the house, plenty of activities and way too much delicious wine.  I love the house being full of people, and believe me there were many sheet changes in the spare bedrooms, but it is rather nice when life returns to normal.

The weather was pretty good, so there was lots of  lighting of bonfires and toasting of marshmallows,

long walks,

 paddock picnic with an Easter egg hunt,

shooting and lunches on the verandah.

Then, if that wasn't enough action, we hopped in the car and drove firstly to Nagambie on Friday to stay overnight with friends (and watch the royal nuptials) then onto Jingellic in southern NSW for a friend's wedding.  Left  Buckingham Palace in the shade.  It took 7.5 hours to get home on Sunday, with lots of driver changes.  Am exhausted and require a serious detox, but have to be prepared to saddle up for the Warrnambool May Races on Thursday.  If you love racing make sure you see the Grand Annual once in your life.  It is a wonderful spectacle.

But back to food.  It is my belief that no country bride worth her salt should be without a good chicken pie recipe, and I am going to share mine since we had one over Easter.  I  used to always serve this on  a Friday night when visitors arrived for the weekend until a friend said that he always is given a chicken pie when he arrives in the country, not mentioning any names Showbag, and I thought I had better change the menu around  (to avoid becoming predictable), so we had it on Sunday night after the paddock picnic.  The quantities are fairly adaptable, just make more white sauce if you have more chicken and veg.

CHICKEN PIE - should serve about six, but I have seen it devoured by four hungry travellers many times.

750g chicken thighs
25g butter
3 rashers bacon, chopped
1-2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
a cup or so of mushrooms (not sure of the weight), chopped
Extra 30g butter
30g plain flour
2 cups milk

Pastry: I use Maggie Beer's sour cream pastry
200g unsalted butter, chilled
250g plain flour
125ml sour cream

Make the pastry first by putting the butter and flour in the Magimix and whizzing to breadcrumbs.  Add sour cream and whizz to a ball.  Wrap in baking paper and put in the fridge.

Cover the chicken thighs with water in a saucepan and poach gently until just cooked.  Strain and set aside.

In a heavy pan melt the butter and add the bacon.  Cook until nearly crispy and add the leeks.  Cook until soft then add the mushrooms.

Cook until soft then remove the mix from the pan but do not clean it out.
Melt the extra butter in the bacon pan and add the flour, stirring for a minute or so.  Gradually add the milk stirring until the sauce thickens and boils.  Simmer gently for a couple of minutes.
Mix the chicken and bacon/leek/mushroom into the sauce and season well.  Add a good handful of chopped parsley.  Put into a pie dish.  Roll out the pastry and put over the pie.

Brush with a beaten egg and cook at 180c for  30-40 minutes until nicely browned.  Serve with a green salad.

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