I’ve been making this Chicken Pie with Herby Cobbler Topping recipe for so long, I’m struggling to count the number of years to tell you exactly how long I’ve been making it for.
I used to make it for my ‘first family’ which was the family in Wellington that I nannied for when I was at Uni. It was a crowd-pleaser back then (read, no empty plates) and it still is now: I’ve been dishing this up to my own family (which has the grand sum of three people in it) for 15 years or so (well, hubby and I have been eating it that long… The Boy is only 10). Yeah, it’s an oldie but a goodie this recipe. It’ll be one that’ll go in Lou’s Cookbook on my death bed (in the event anyone is interested…).
This recipe has been pumped out a fair bit lately, as I’ve been doing #shopmypantry. Miss that memo? This was basically a life event (not a first either, I hasten to add).
What is #shopmypantry? We ran out of cash in our everyday account… Well… I had some time-off due to a bereavement which means = no income (oh, the joys of self employment!). Then, I got paid, which was pretty meagre and then, Ed Sheeran tickets came up for sale. “Stuff it I thought”. I got tickets. After that, I realised funds were much lower than desirable, i.e. nearly at zero! When it came to grocery shopping, I decided “No! Fark using our savings for that, or buying food on credit cards”…. So I did no grocery shopping at all. None. Zilch. What did we do? We literally ate what was in our pantry and freezer, as it turns out, I’ve got hoarding tendencies and… There was enough food in there to feed us for a week past when I’d have ordinarily gone to the supermarket. I wittered on about this on Facebook and it seems, I inspired others to just eat what they already had. Excellent! For the record, we did #shopmypantry last week as well, but I didn’t witter on about it, least my faithful audience thinks “this again? Hasn’t she got new tricks?”
Now, full disclaimer, this chicken pie recipe is not a Lou original recipe. Let’s get that out of the way. Nope, the origins of this recipe are thanks to Sophie Gray, also known as The Destitute Gourmet. I have several of her recipe books, I refer to them often, they are the schizz to my mind. Sophie’s books up there with my beloved Alison Holst vintage cookbooks. Big thanks to Sophie on that note, I sent her a Facebook message outlining my grand designs for (hopefully) having the permission to post this recipe. Clearly, she emailed back with ‘go for it’. Thanks Sophie, you are a trooper.
As the Chef of the House, what I love about this recipe is that it requires sod all meat to go a long way – this has been whipped up using two SMALL chicken breasts, arguably one humdinger/McDaddy big one would suffice. You literally need 100g of cooked chicken. I make this when I’ve got chook leftovers from a roast, OR, I poach the chicken. If you can’t be arsed poaching the breast like I did, then don’t: Get 100g of chicken meat from the deli when you are at the supermarket. Boom. How do you poach chicken? See the bottom of the recipe below.
What to serve it with? The options are endless: Baked spuds; Roast spuds; Roast veges. Heck, a salad will be fine! Don’t forget veges. Oh, the possibilities!
The Recipe: Chicken Pie with Herby Cobbler Topping
- 1 tablespoon of butter or oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 50g of bacon or ham, chopped
- 50g of mushrooms, sliced
- 100g of cooked chicken
- 2 carrots, peeled, sliced and cooked
- 1/2 cup corn or peas, cooked
- 1 large kumara, or potato, cubed and cooked
- 400ml chicken stock
- 100ml cream (or evaporated milk)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 1 + 1/4 cups self-raising flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of herbs (I use either thyme or mixed herbs)
- 75g butter (cold)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Good grind black pepper
- Cold Water to mix
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius (normal oven bake).
- Grease an ovenproof casserole dish.
- Heat the butter or oil in a frying pan and gently cook the onion until soft. Add bacon (or ham) and mushrooms and cook until soft.
- Add the cooked chicken, cooked vegetables, stock, salt and water and bring to a simmering point. Add the cream, stir to combine.
- Mix the cornflour with a little cold water and pour this into the chicken mix to thicken it. Stir well.
- Remove from heat, pour the mixture into the casserole dish.
- Place the flour, herbs, salt and butter in a food processor and process in small bursts until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Note: If you don't have a food processor (I didn't when I was nannying!) then rub the (cold) butter in with your fingertips.
- Add enough cold water (like a teaspoon at a time!) to form a dough.
- Knead the dough lightly on a floured bench, then roll to fit the top of the meat dish.
- Gently lay the dough over the top of the chicken mixture and score a diagonal pattern across the dough with a knife.
- Place in the middle oven rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until risen and golden.
If you are using chicken leftovers - use what you have, more or less chicken won't make much difference! Reduce or increase the vegetable content to adjust. Also adjust the amount of stock you use. Easy 🙂
To poach chicken, place chicken breasts in a saucepan and just cover with water, add a clove of garlic, bay leaf, a few peppercorns and some parsley or celery stocks. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for approximately 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken, drain the stock over a sieve into a bowl: This is your chicken stock!
If you are a visual person, here’s what the process looks like!
Get the filling ready.
Make the herby cobbler topping.
Shape it to fit your casserole dish. Plonk it on top. Score it with diagonal lines (don’t cut all the way through the topping though, eh?)
Cook it. Done!