Chicken and Cheese Pie

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chicken and cheese pies

One of the things I love most about living in the Northwest of England is this region's obsession with meat pies and pasties. While, in America, we tend to refer to pies typically as desserts, with the exceptions, of course, of pot pies and Shepherd's pies, in England, you can find almost anything in a pie.

My recipe is a variation of a Chicken and Stilton Pie recipe snagged from The Everyday Chicken Cookbook. Changes were made for a variety of reasons: 1. Stilton is a blue cheese and I prefer blue cheese as a sauce or dressing. 2. The recipe calls for celery as a part of the filling and this seemed a bit odd to me since celery's main property is water and since it lacks in flavor. 3. The recipe calls for an insane amount of lard and butter: 75 grams or 6 tablespoons! I definitely reduced this to make a healthier option and changed butter to margarine.

So, here we are. This recipe yields 4 rather large pies.
For the pastry:
350 grams of self-rising flour
2.5 ml teaspoon of salt
25 grams of lard
25 grams of margarine
100 ml cold water
beaten egg, to glaze

For the filling:
4 chicken breasts, diced
25 grams of chopped walnuts
25 grams of spring onions, sliced
50 grams of Double Gloucester cheese (or any strong cheese)
2.5 ml of rosemary
2.5 ml of oregano
salt and black pepper as you wish

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl and Cut in your lard and butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the cold water to form a stiff, pliable dough.

Turn out onto a work surface and knead lightly until smooth. Divide into four and roll out each piece until desired thickness. Cut into a 20cm/8in circle.

Mix the chicken and the chopped walnuts, spring onions, cheese, rosemary, oregano and salt and pepper. Divide the filling equally among the pastry circles.

Chicken and cheese turnover pies
 Brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg and fold over pinching and crimping the edges together well. Brush the remaining egg on the outside of the parcel. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 40 minute or until golden brown.

Voila! I served it with a really nice butternut squash rice. Very filling.

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