Spring chicken pie

Spring chicken pie

Don’t let spring chicken pie without trying this weekend. Your kids will love it, you as well. The combination of fresh tarragon, flat-leaf parsley, Jersey Royals and chicken stock flavor  is really unforgettable and for sure will remind you of spring. Now some tips regarding fresh tarragon when you go to the store. You’re most likely to find French tarragon at the grocery store—which is good because it’s the one you want. If you end up with tarragon with a tamer flavor, you might have found Russian tarragon, which is infinitely less tasty surrogate. If you’re wondering why anyone would bother with a less-tasty tarragon, the “far-heartier-of-habit” bit means it actually likes poor soil conditions and puts up with neglect and dry spells.

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons
  • 500 g Jersey Royals
  • ½ a bunch of fresh tarragon
  • 1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 8 free-range chicken thighs, bone in, skin on, from sustainable sources
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 400 ml chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 75 g watercress
  • 5 sheets of filo pastry

Cooking method

Preheat the oven to 190 ºC/gas 5.

Halve the lemons, quarter the Jersey Royals, then pick and finely chop the tarragon and parsley.

Put the chicken, unpeeled garlic cloves, lemon and potatoes in a large baking tray, drizzle with oil, season, then toss together and pop in the oven for 45 minutes, or until golden, crispy and cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large non-stick saucepan until bubbling. Add the flour and stir for 1 to 2 minutes to form a paste, then slowly pour in the stock, whisking until thickened. Add the mustard, then season.

Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and reserve the skin and discard any gristle. Shred the meat, discarding the bones.

Squeeze the garlic from its skins back into the roasting tray and squeeze over all the juice from the lemons and toss well.

Pour over the thickened stock and add the herbs and watercress. Check the seasoning, then finely chop the chicken skins and sprinkle over the filling.

Lay out sheets of filo on a clean surface and cut each one in half. Lightly scrunch up and place on top of the pie filling, brushing with the melted butter.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until crispy and golden, then serve with a crisp green salad.

No ideas how to prepare the crisp green salad? Let us help you. You’ll need:

  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 1 whole avocado, chopped into chunks
  • 1 cup sunflower seed sprouts
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts

For the Dressing

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Preparation

  1. Rip or cut the lettuce leaves and place them in a big bowl.
  2. Cut remaining vegetables and place in the bowl with lettuce.
  3. Toast pine nuts in an un-oiled skillet on medium heat for four to five minutes until lightly browned.
  4. Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar, then add the crushed garlic. Pour over salad and serve immediately.

Recipe source of crisp green salad: Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type

Spring chicken pie recipe source: Jamie Oliver magazine

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