Tuesday 18 January 2011

Chicken & Mushroom Filo Pie

I tend to over-cater. My reasoning is that it is always better to have too much than not enough and I've never knowingly sent anyone from my house hungry. Which is why roasting two enormous chickens and cooking a million (yes, a million) roast potatoes to feed 5 of us for a Sunday lunch seemed a good idea.

In the aftermath, we all ate ourselves into a stupor. There were people strewn across my living room floor, groaning in over-indulgence. We had a communal nap.

And yet there were still leftovers. A simple dinner of bubble and squeak made light work of the leftover vegetables. The carcasses of the chickens were stripped, flesh ripped off the bones and the stock bubbled in the oven overnight. I woke up the next day and staggered into the kitchen in my pyjamas, polishing off a cleansing bowl of broth for breakfast. When the time came, the stock was reduced by two thirds. Dark and rich, the resultant liquid coated the mouth with intense chicken flavour. There was only one thing for it; PIE.

Filo pastry is a total bitch to work with if, like me, you are cursed with clumsy oafishness. I gave up trying to line my dish with layers upon layers of delicate casing. Instead, the leaves of pastry were scrunched up to make a topping. Crisp shards crunched in the mouth giving way to a rich creamy filling. I did away with the typical mashed potatoes and instead opted simply for courgettes fried with garlic to accompany the pie.

Chicken & Mushroom Filo Pie

Serves 4

Leftover cooked chicken meat - about 300gr
300gr mini portabello mushrooms, chopped roughly
1 leek, chopped roughly
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 rasher of smoked bacon, chopped finely
3 fat cloves of garlic
3 sprigs of thyme
1 large handful of parsley
200ml (ish) strong chicken stock
50ml double cream
3 tbsp plain flour
50gr butter
A few sheets of filo pastry
A sprinkling of hot smoked paprika

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Add some oil to a pan and fry the bacon for a few minutes. Add the leek and the celery and fry till softened. Crush the garlic and add to the pan, stirring well. Throw in the mushrooms with a hefty pinch of salt along with the thyme leaves. Fry for a few minutes, then add the stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Mix the flour with a bit of the sauce mixture in a small bowl until smooth ad whisk into the sauce. Add the chicken and the double cream, simmer until nicely thickened. Take off the heat and add the parsley, chopped finely. Taste for seasoning.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Spoon the chicken mixture into a baking dish. Carefully brush each filo sheet with butter and scrunch lightly, laying it on top of the baking dish. Repeat until it is covered. Sprinkle with the hot paprika and place in the oven, cooking for 40 - 45 minutes.

Remove and leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.


Hazel - Chicken in a Cherry Sauce said...

I like the simplicity of using the filo just for the topping. I desperately want some of this right now!

Su-Lin said...

I agree with Hazel - what a great idea to use the filo for just the topping!

LexEat! said...

I can see why you'd decide to roast 2 chickens for 5 people - in my head 1 just doesn't seem enough for 5 people! (but then again, I too always hopelessly over cater and the few times I haven't, i've been wide awake half the night worrying about not having enough food).

Pie looks fab!

Kerri said...

I would also cook two chickens for five people. I'd consider cooking three actually, so that everyone could have a leg but I wouldn't actually do it. Nothing worse that not having enough food.

And you were right, my leftover option was healthier but I'd rather eat PIE any day.

Tales from the Tiny Kitchen said...

Oh my. This pie looks mighty tasty. All I can think about now is how much I want to make this and scoff it. There's something so classic about the chicken/mushroom pie combo...why is that? And the thought of that crispy filo topping is making me go all spaced out...

AdLand Suit said...

That looks amazing. But seriously; how are you not really, really fat? x

Unknown said...

Perfect time of year for pies like this! I like the idea of the filo to add a bit of crispy crunch to the top.

An American in London said...

Def agree with you about over-catering and not wanting people to go home hungry (that would be so embarrassing!).

I'm struck by the fact that you left the oven on overnight. Do you have a slow cooker? I usually toss carcasses in there and after a day at the office (or a night's sleep), perfect stock is ready to go.

The Grubworm said...

Yup - what everyone else has said about the over catering thing - too much always trumps just right. mainly because everyone always eats more than they think they will.

I love the idea of doing the stock overnight in the oven. I've always done it the next day, but the idea of waking up to deep savoury aromas drifting out of the kitchen is a tempting and delicious one.

S said...

mmm...double cream, mushrooms- i am sold. i love "communal dishes" - everyone is tucking in! x shayma

Hollow Legs said...

Hazel - it's much less of a faff than a full pie.

Su-Lin - thanks!

LexEat - Leftover chicken is no real hardship. Thanks!

Kerri - Oops. Perhaps I should have done that...

Tales - Thanks! I am looking forward to leftovers...

Adland Suit - You haven't seen me in months! I am now ENORMOUS. x

GC - thanks! the crisp crunch was a nice contrast.

AAIL - Nope, no slow cooker, I don't have the kitchen space. Maybe I'l get a huge electricity bill...

Grubworm - oh god we ate so much. The smell was incredible, hence the bowlful for breakfast!

Shayma - Double cream and mushrooms go so well together don't they? Mmm.

pigpigscorner said...

Leftovers are great for pies! haha, that's why I never use Filo, I have clumsy fingers.

Jenny Eatwell said...

I have nabbed this recipe for the next time we have a chicken. :) I, too, use the slow cooker for stock. However, I have to cook the stock the next day, as I got fed up with the nightmares brought on by the smells wafting from the kitchen. I tried shutting the door, but nope, could still smell it. Bizarre.