Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals #20: Chicken Pie
This is our 20th cooking/blogging experiment from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. Woohoo! We’re 40% of the way through! For this one we chose “Chicken Pie, French-Style Peas, Sweet Carrot Smash, Berries, Shortbread & Chantilly Cream.” You may recall that I actually tried this recipe already back in January, before we started this project. We wanted to document it properly though, so the Snook stepped up to cook this one. We also rewatched the episode to refresh our minds. This was also the first time we’ve ever had an audience: our friend Sharon from Flavour Crusader was here! I think the extra spectator may have unnerved the Snook a bit, as his time was uncharacteristically slow: 39:56. Still, that’s 5+ minutes faster than I managed it back in January…
Substitutions: We used plain cream instead of creme fraiche for the pie filling. We had one large lettuce instead of two small ones for the peas. And the Snook assembled the dessert into a trifle (with some lemon curd) rather than leaving it as constituent parts, as you can see above. Other than that, everything was as written in the recipe.
Quick verdict: The perfect winter meal! Very tasty and filling. The chicken in the pie was a bit chewy, but I suppose that’s to be expected when using breast. (Jamie never seems to use thighs?) We overcooked the peas a bit, but they were still good. The Snook’s improvised trifle for dessert was beautiful, the perfect cap to the meal. Overall we both rated this one 8.5 out of 10, but I think there’s still a little room for improvement next time we make it. Read on for a photo essay of the preparation!Pre-start prep: We got out all the necessary ingredients, tools, and cooking vessels. The kitchen was clean (well, as clean as it gets) and everything wiped down and ready to go. The food processor was prepped with the slicing disc. The kettle was boiled and the oven turned to 200C. We had a big roasting tray for the pie (which was a mistake), a small saucepan for the carrots, and a bigger saucepan for the peas.
First up are the ingredients for the pie: chicken breasts, butter, spring onions, button mushrooms, flour, English mustard, cream, chicken stock, thyme, nutmeg, puff pastry, and an egg. Oh, and Sharon hiding in the background!
Next are the ingredients for the side dishes: carrots and thyme for the smashed carrots; and lettuce, butter, flour, chicken stock, mint, frozen peas, and lemon for the French-style peas.
Lastly, the bits for the dessert: strawberries, elderflower cordial, lemon, mint, shortbread biscuits, cream, vanilla, and icing sugar.
Pots and pans, ready to go! Roasting tray for the pie (again, more on that mistake in a minute), big saucepan for peas, little saucepan for carrots.
Food processor with slicing disc.
Here we go! The first step was to cut up the chicken breasts. Dr. Amy Jones decided this was the perfect time to beg for a bit of chicken fat. (Could you resist that little pink nose? No way.)
Next the Snook got the chicken cooking in some olive oil and butter in the roasting tray.
Next is the veg. He first cleaned and trimmed the green onions…
…before feeding them into the food processor along with the mushrooms. (You’ll recall that this was a major nightmare for me on our first attempt at this dish, as we had our old crappy food processor then. This time it worked PERFECTLY. Three cheers for decent appliances!)
He then dumped the veg in with the chicken to cook.
Next he added flour, mustard, cream, and chicken stock to make the sauce.
Lastly, he seasoned the pie filling with salt and pepper before grating over a bit of nutmeg.
The next job was the carrots. He cleaned and trimmed them…
…before chucking them in the food processor. WHIZZ!
He put the carrots into the small saucepan with some olive oil, salt and pepper, thyme, and water. Then he covered it and left it to cook.
Here’s where you can see the problem with the roasting tray. It just didn’t heat evenly on our induction stove, and the mix was starting to “catch” in the middle. So the Snook made the snap decision to transfer the mix to a Pyrex casserole for baking. (On the episode, Jamie does it all in the one tray. The recipe actually recommends you use two separate pans though. We’d have saved time if we’d done it that way from the start!)
Now for the puff pastry crust. Rather than worry about rolling it out to the right size, the Snook just cut a bit off a second sheet and seamed them together to make a big enough lid.
Next he carefully placed the pastry on top of the pie, folding and tucking the edges as needed.
He also lightly scored the top of the pie as instructed.
After a quick egg wash, it went into the oven!
The carrots were still bubbling away.
Onto the peas. He started by slicing up our cos lettuce.
In the large saucepan, he cooked butter and flower together to make a roux.
Then he added chicken stock and whisked to make a thickened sauce.
He then dumped in a bag of frozen peas, the sliced lettuce, and a handful of mint leaves. He seasoned it with lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and left it to cook.
Time to prep the dessert! He cleaned and trimmed the strawberries…
…before tossing them with mint leaves and elderflower cordial.
Next he used the electric whisk to beat cream, icing sugar, and vanilla until it was thick.
The carrots were finished, so he drained off the liquid and used a potato masher to smash them up.
And finally the pie came out of the oven, golden and beautiful!
The finished meal of chicken pie, French-style peas, and carrot smash.
And the finished dessert! He created a trifle by layering crumbled shortbreads, lemon curd, the strawberries, and the chantilly cream in a glass.
Tasting notes: This is one of the best meals in the book in terms of the way the various elements work together. The pie on its own might be a little boring, but the vibrant carrots and savoury peas complement it perfectly. We overcooked the peas a bit, but there was still a bit of crunch to the lettuce and it tasted fine. The chicken breast was fairly chewy, but that was to be expected given the type of meat and the short cooking time. The dessert was the real highlight, and I think the Snook’s change to a trifle was a big improvement on the original. That little bit of lemon curd in the bottom just made it so special and lovely! We’ll definitely remember that trick in the future. I figure we can still cut another five minutes off this one if we manage to cook the pie filling in the right pan from the get-go. Overall an 8.5 out of 10, and an excellent dish to warm up a cold winter’s night…
Stay tuned for another recipe from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals!