food, Recipes

Ultimate Chicken Cider Pie

Styling: Brita du Plessis; Photographs: Sean Calitz

There is truly nothing more delicious than a lovingly made pie. Try this amazing version of the famous chicken pie. Ingredients salt and freshly ground black pepper 8 free-range chicken pieces (thighs, breasts and drumsticks) 6T salted butter half a handful of sage half a handful of thyme half a handful of origanum 1 bottle dry cider 2 cups milk 4 leeks, chopped 100g diced bacon 2T flour 1 cup cream 1 puff pastry roll 1 egg, lightly beaten with a dash of milk   Method Season the chicken well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then set aside. Melt three tablespoons of the butter in a heavy-based pot until it starts to foam. Add the herbs and stir through. Place the chicken pieces in the pot and brown them, turning them over after a few minutes. Add the cider and reduce the heat to a simmer. Pour in the milk, cover the pot and poach the chicken for 45 minutes, then leave the pieces to cool in the liquid. Remove the chicken and reserve one cup of the poaching liquid. Pull the chicken off the bone, discard the skin and bones and set the chicken aside. Place the remaining butter in a pan and heat until it is foaming. Add the leeks and bacon and sauté for five minutes, then add the flour and stir through for a minute or two. Pour in the cream and reserved stock and bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat, add the chicken, stir through and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the cooled chicken mixture in a pie dish, top it with the puff pastry, brush the egg wash on top and bake for 20 minutes or until the pie is golden brown and puffy. SERVES 4 Cook’s note: For a stronger cider taste halve the reserved stock and add half a cup of cider to the sauce. Recipes and styling Brita du Plessis Photographs Sean Calitz Food Production Elizabeth Ingram This recipe originally appeared in the July 2015 issue of House and Leisure