Sorry, I have been a bit busy this week and have not been posting as intended (although according to Glenn I have not been remiss in the talking department.....how rude). Anyway supper tonight, after much deliberation, was going to be a lovely proper Leek & Bacon Quiche .I cant call it Quiche Lorraine as strictly speaking that is only bacon, cream & eggs, but the leeks at the greengrocer were fat & fabulous, (hooray, how ofter do you hear that nowadays?)......anyway Einstein here forgot to get cream on the way home,so consumed was she at remembering the cat biscuits and everything else on the list helpfully still sitting on the fridge.... After a weekend of Apple & Feijoa crumble and Chocolate Mousse (diet central around here cant you tell?) there was only a tiny puddle of cream in the bottom of the bottle. I cant perform magic tricks, so quiche was out , what else to do?
Making pies at 6.30pm on a Monday night probably isn't everyone's idea of relaxing, and even I did think I was being a tad ambitious, but frozen pastry is this girls best friend, and pies it was.
A couple of chicken thighs (I know you have heard it before but they really do taste better than chicken breasts, and they are not as dry) chucked in a small saucepan with a splash of Chard, 5 peppercorns, a bay leaf & some celery leaves, (I used the stalk to fry with the leeks & bacon) covered with water & simmered for 15 mins. Fry a few rashers of bacon , which freezes fantastically well & thaws quickly, hence it always lives in my freezer, in a knob of butter with a sliced leek, a stalk of celery and a bit of spring onion as it was knocking around the crisper. Let it all soften while chicken cooks, then add a splash of wine and let that bubble all the bits on the bottom of the pan, and take off the heat.
Take chicken out of poaching liquid & slice/tear into the leek mix. Let it cool down while you make a bechemel sauce, which means putting about 300ml milk in a saucepan with half an onion and a bay leaf and bring it to the boil on a gentle heat. While that happens melt 25 grams of butter in another saucepan ,(the one you cooked the chicken in maybe?) also gently, and add a couple of teaspoons of plain flour stirring with a whisk or wooden spoon until it looks grainy. Let it cook for about a minute, then add your heated milk , taking out the onion & bay leaf. Stir/whisk until it thickens, let it bubble gently for a minute or two, taste to see if it needs seasoning, and there you go, a bechemel sauce (or in our house white sauce). I added a teaspoon of Dijon mustard at this point, because I love it with chicken, but its up to you. This is also where you would add cheese, if you wanted to cover some steamed cauliflower with love and breadcrumbs....Anyway add sauce to your chicken mix, and stir it all together. You could add some chopped tarragon, or parsley but don't worry if you don't have it.....I use sheets of Edmonds frozen savoury pastry but any brand will do, line your wee pie cases, or a large pie tin, add your filling (better if you can leave it to cool a bit, but don't be eating at midnight just for that) and cook in a 200C oven for 20-25 mins. All that took about 35 mins to get to the oven, including feeding the cat & wandering around the garden in the dark trying to pick lettuce with out touching anything creepy crawly, so not sooooo bad, especially as quite frankly pulling off a crispy, chickeny chock-full of chook pie, well, how fab are you:) Right, dinner and Midsomer Murder calls, bye for now x
P.S I have Feijoa recipes to post, will get onto that this week, before some poor soul actually drowns in Feijoas.....it could happen!