Monday 4 April 2016

Chicken and Bacon Loaf Pies

This is another one where I took a recipe I've already done, and then worked on presenting it well. In this case it was a hot-water crust pastry, as I use for most of my cold-serve pies. The plan was this time to do smaller pies, and do a batch that all look the same. I sort of ballsed it up by not making enough filling, so while I had 4 small loaf tins, I only had enough filling for 3 pies (and so had loads of pastry left over).

I used the same volume of pastry as the pork and cider pie...this was way too much! I could have probably reduced the volume by 25% and still done all 4 pies. I then rolled the pastry out to 3mm thick (using batons), and lined the tins, with a good overhang.

The filling was a fairly basic chicken and bacon filling;
  • 400g chicken breast chunks
  • 150g smoked bacon (cut into thin slices)
  • 1tbsp sunflower oil
  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • Milk (didn't measure the exact volume...about 3-400ml?)
  • 100g medium strength cheddar
  • Chopped parsley
Note - this did 3 small loaf tins, so add 33% to everything to fill 4.

1) Put the butter into a medium sized pan on a low heat

2) once the butter has melted, turn up the heat and add the flour, stirring in vigorously

3) Allow the mix to cook for a few minutes

4) Start slowly adding milk and stirring/whisking vigorously. Violence is key to avoid it going lumpy

5) Keep adding milk until a thick sauce is formed

6) Remove from the heat, and stir in the cheese and parsley

7) Put the oil in a large pan over a high heat

8) Add the chicken, and cook until cooked all the way through

9) Add the bacon, and stir and cook until fully cooked

10) Reduce the temperature to a low heat, and add the white sauce to the chicken

11) cook for 10 minutes, the remove from the heat to cool completely

After that the same process as a normal loaf pie was followed. I filled the tins and added a lid with some beaten egg. I then trimmed and crimped the edges, and did my "I know how to do these" leaf decorations. and more beaten egg as a glaze.

They were baked for 45 minutes, and then cooled. The filling sliced very well, and I'm really happy with how they look. The cheese could have been a little stronger (in Waitrose language I used a strength 3, a 4-5 would have been better).