So first off, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not posting for so long. I really do enjoy doing this, but sometimes I get caught in this crazy life and I forget to do those things that are for me, that I enjoy. So I’m going to try harder to make that time, and really to find the energy to dedicate to myself. Why is that so hard??!! Well we know why, I just wish it wasn’t so hard.
Kris is away this week in Sweden. Even when he is traveling, I do try to still cook for myself. I can’t eat toast every night for a week… well I can but I’m trying to be better. So on Monday during nap time, I made up a big batch of pot pie mix using all sorts of vegetables that are in season now and and have been making myself and the boys hand pies for dinner all week. This has been one of the most successful things I have ever made my toddlers. They loved it, fed themselves and told me after each bite that it was “delicious” and that they “liked it”. If you have ever (or never have) had two 2 year olds say this about their dinner than you know what a big deal it is! But mostly its so good because we all enjoy it. After 3 nights (and one day where I had the “soup” for lunch also) I’m making up the rest and freezing the individual hand pies for easy weeknight dinners when Kris is away next week. 🙂
Spring Vegetable & Chicken Hand Pies
For the filling:
- 2 small chicken breasts
- 4 medium carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and chopped
- 1 large leek cut in half and sliced thinly
- 1/2 bunch of asparagus chopped
- 1 cup of peas (fresh or frozen)
- 75 grams of unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1 1/2 -2 cups of chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon of dried tarragon
- 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
For the pie crust:
- 2 1/2 cups of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of cold butter
- 6 tablespoons of ice cold water
- 1 egg yolk
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the bay leaf, whole chicken breasts, chopped carrots and potatoes and poach for 10 minutes. Add the asparagus into the pot with 2-3 minutes remaining. Remove from the water and put all the vegetables in a bowl. Let the chicken cool and then shred and add the bowl of veggies.
- Put the leeks and butter into a separate pot and saute over medium heat until the leeks are soft. Add the tarragon and thyme and cook for another minute. Add in the flour and mix well. Cook for 1 minute stirring constantly. Turn your heat up and slowly pour in your chicken stock a little bit at a time until you reach a glue like texture. (Sorry but its the only thing I could think of to describe the texture). If your mixture is too loose, let it boil for a little but keep stirring! When ready, remove it from the heat and pour into the bowl with the chicken and veggies. Mix together and season with salt and pepper to your liking. You pot pie mix is done! At this point you can use it right away or put it in the fridge or even freeze it for future meals.
- Pie Crust: Place the flour and salt into a food processor equipped with the blade attachment. Mix together than add your butter and pulse until its a breadcrumb texture. With the processor on low, add your water and egg and the mix until a dough forms. Turn out onto your counter top and sprinkle with flour and kneed it until it all comes together. Then roll it out into a rectangle shape. At this point you can cut your rectangle shapes to form your pies or you can really use any shape you want - even cookie cutters!
- Assembly: Take two same sized pieces of pastry, place a few heaped spoonfuls of the filling in the centre of one of the rectangles and then spread it evenly leaving a couple mm edge around. Place the other piece of pastry on top and then fold over the edges, making sure that they are sealed. Place on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or wrap in parchment paper and then foil and place in the freezer.
Nice fresh chicken stock is hard to come by in the stores here so usually I make my own, but If I don't have any to hand or not enough, I use the poaching liquid with a cube of bouillon to make my sauce. Tastes great!