Sunday, 18 December 2011

Chicken & ham pie/ butternut & chickpea pilaf

Paul is, as they say, on a roll with this pastry-making business. Since last month's beef, ale and mushroom pie, he's seldom had his hands out of a bowl of flour. Good for me, bad for my waistline. And speaking of which, did you know the Germans have a word for the fat gained through emotional over-eating? Kummerspeck.

Since at the moment neither of us are working, and we are both a bit unhappy about it, there is quite a lot of emotional over-eating at out house at the moment. This really is a Kummerspeck pie.

It's essentially the Hairy Bikers' Creamy Chicken, Ham & Leek Pie, but with a couple of pretty important variations.

Firstly, we used a whole chicken instead of chicken breasts. A fresh, free-range chicken is about £5/kg. Free-range breast fillets are about £17/kg. Stripping the meat off a whole chicken means you get lovely dark meat as well, for more flavour in the pie. Poaching a whole chicken also gives you loads of extra broth, to make another meal from plus leftover meat for a sandwich. Thrifty is good. So obviously we had to adjust the amount of liquid and the poaching time.

Also, instead of using 250ml of reserved chicken stock and 200ml of milk, we used 450ml of stock. With 150ml of double cream, the sauce really doesn't need extra creaminess! And we used a slightly higher ratio of flour to butter and didn't add the egg to the pastry.

Utterly delicious, but so rich! Definitely an occasional treat, even when comfort-eating.

With the leftover broth, I made a version of Nicky's butternut and chickpea pilaf, topped with halloumi. I used apricots instead of sultanas, and added a couple of chopped preserved lemons at the end. I didn't have the patience to let my halloumi slices take colour the way she did! Very simple, very delicious, and made 2 meals for each of us (as well as getting 6 portions out of the chicken pie). As I said, thrifty is good!


Nic said...

That pie looks amazing! I'm so glad you enjoyed the pilaf :-)

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

Aw, I hope you find some work soon. The pie looks and sounds amazing, if you are going to have Kummerspeck it might as well be through luscious food like that. About the halloumi, try a really hot pan next time and they should brown quickly enough!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Nicky - loved it and will make it again!

Leaf - yeah, so do I! I think you are right, the pan just wasn't hot enough.

Deb in Hawaii said...

There's been some kummerspeck over here lately too. ;-) This looks fabulous and the crust is perfect.

Yasmeen said...

I love the flavor combination in your pilaf - sweet and salty is one of my favorites, especially when it involves halloumi!

kat said...

Seems like the Germans have a word for everything! The pie looks like perfect comfort food when you are down. Hope the job outlook starts to look better.

hungryandfrozen said...

Oh, those Germans and their amazing words!

Hope you both find some work soon. In the meantime this pie is exactly the sort of comfort food I think I'd reach for, too. Love that golden, beautiful pastry. I tend to buy a whole chicken too, rather than a bit of it - so much cheaper and you get so much more out of it!

Joanne said...

I love that the Germans have a word for stress eating...that's so awesome and makes it so much more of a legitimate thing! Both components of this meal sound delicious. At least you're stress eating good food!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Deb - the pastry was gorgeous.

Yasmeen - I am a huge fan of sweet & salty too. This was very well balanced!

Kat - thanks! I am sure things will pick up in the New Year.

Laura - the whole chicken is a much better idea.

Joanne - I know! "Oh it's kummerspeck, I've been really stressed" sounds like an actual disorder.


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