Roast chicken and fennel pie
Everyone loves a good old pie especially during the colder months… Or especially when you have to cook for 10 people, so here’s my recipe for one that oozes deliciousness as much as butter and cream. All healthy stuff, you see?
Notes on the casing:
For the short crust pastry I used Sue Lawrence’s recipe, but I ignored what she says in her nice and very useful ‘Book of baking” about using puff pastry for the top and made double the amount of short crust for the casing.
Any recipe for this will do and all I feel compelled to point out is that it’s paramount that you roll that pastry out so that it isn’t more than 1mm thick, because you don’t want to be serving up more crust than filling like I did the first time I made this pie!
For the filling
- 1 medium chicken whole
- 1 cup fennel seeds
- 1 fennel bulb roughly chopped
- 2 medium onions roughly chopped
- 1 large glass dry white wine (make that 2, one for the filling and one for yourself)
- 300ml creme fraiche
- Salt and pepper to taste
Rub the chicken with sea salt and 1/4 of the fennel seeds and roast for about an hour and a half at gas mark 6. Once it’s ready let it cool and tear as much meat as you can from the bone, set the carcass aside (for stock of course!) and place the baking dish over a medium heat on the stove and heat the juices back up.
Add the remaining fennel seeds, onions, white wine and fennel bulb and cook for 5 minutes circa. Pour the creme fraiche in, bring to the boil and let simmer for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I’m sure you all know how to “build” a pie once the filling is ready, so smear some butter in the baking dish, place the first sheet of pastry in it, punch a few holes in with a fork and pour in the chicken mix. Place the pastry lid over it, brush with a little egg and place back in the oven for half an hour or until the crust is nice and gold.
Enjoy with creamy and slightly runny mash potato and savoy cabbage sauteed with bacon and walnuts on the side!
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