Ok guys, here it is. The post we’ve been putting off writing for ages because it is just so damn long! We considered scrapping it altogether, but since this is possibly one of the most delicious things we’ve ever made, that clearly couldn’t happen. Be prepared for a long read, (and several hours in the kitchen if you actually make this) but trust us, it is well worth it! This Australian-style chicken and mushroom pie delivers on all counts. We began by making the crust for our pie, which called for the following ingredients:
400 g plain flour
1/2 a stick of butter
100 g vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp salt
2 beaten eggs
4 tbsp cold water
1 packet puff pastry (this is for the top of the pie)
We began by combining the butter, flour, salt and shortening. I kneaded the mixture with my hands until it resembled coarse breadcrumbs, and made a well in the center of the bowl.
I then combined the eggs and water, and slowly added them to the bowl until it made a dough. Next I formed a ball with the dough, wrapped it in cling film and put it in the fridge until it was ready to be used (at least thirty minutes, ours was in for closer to an hour).
1 packet dried porcini mushrooms
50 ml red wine (to soak the mushrooms)
4 large boneless chicken thighs
1 white onion
6 cloves garlic
1 small can tomato paste
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup creme fraiche or double cream
1/2-3/4 pound fresh mushrooms (we used cremini, shiitake and oyster)
2 tbsp chili powder
rosemary, thyme, tarragon
flour to coat chicken
salt and pepper to taste
We began by soaking the porcinis in red wine for 30 minutes- this not only rehydrates them but also provides a delicious porcini-wine broth that we use later on, so reserve the liquid after the porcinis are done!
While the onions were softening, Alex prepared the chicken. He cut it into bite-sized chunks and then coated it all with flour, which aids in the browning process, as well as some salt and plenty of pepper.
We then added the cup of white wine, and the reserved porcini broth to the pan, as well as the can of tomato paste. While all of this was boiling away, we also threw in several stalks of thyme and rosemary, as well as the chili powder.
We then sauteed the mushrooms (which we chopped roughly, so that they’d be pretty comparable to the chicken pieces) in the same pan as the chicken, so they picked up a bit of the flavour the chicken left behind. We also added some olive oil and chili powder.
Then we brought the chilled dough back out, and rolled it out so it would cover our baking pan. We also reserved a little bit for a mini pie I wanted to make (I think they’re cute…also if you want to serve this to company, the mini pies make for a much nicer presentation). And yes, we had to use a wine bottle, because our kitchen didn’t have a rolling pin…
He then filled the pie crust with some dry beans, so that it would be weighed down while it baked. Be sure to put a piece of baking paper in between the beans and dough so that nothing sticks. We baked this for about 20 minutes- or until the edges had turned golden brown.
We added the cream and more salt/pepper/spices to taste, and continued to let the sauce thicken, develop and simmer until the crust was done.
When the entire pie was golden brown, we pulled it out. We left it to cool for several minutes before cutting into it, and once we plated up we waited a bit longer before actually digging in. A large pie like this isn’t the most beautiful of meals, and again, that’s where the ramekin comes in!
This meal came together over the course of several hours, but it was well worth it. Making it in a large amount is perfect because you can freeze the leftovers and then cook them again in the oven to relive the deliciousness. Going through and writing this post has made me crave these rich flavours again- the chili, tomato, cream, chicken and mushroom all work together beautifully, especially in such a rich, buttery crust. This pie can hardly be called healthy, but honestly after one bite, you won’t care. A fantastic, show-stopping comfort food to have in one’s cooking arsenal, this will forever remain one of our favourites.