The slow cooker

Laurie Colwin wrote: ‘No one cooks, one cooks. Even when he is alone, a cook is surrounded in the kitchen by past generations of cooks, the advice and menus of current cooks, the genius of book writers.’ It’s one of my favorite sayings about cooking, because it’s true: everything you cook is reflected by other dishes, what you’ve cooked, what what you have tasted or read, successes and failures. In the quiet moments of the lonely kitchen, it is comforting to know that there is an army of cooks behind me, each one offering their knowledge, their knowledge and books, a hand to hold my clear mind. zero.

I didn’t realize how true Colwin’s words were until I made the chicken pie. My chicken pie is a combination of every chicken dish I’ve ever made. That same pie includes a credit to one of my favorite cooks and writers: a recipe by Anna Hedworth, owner of Newcastle Kitchen, which has been my go-to chicken pie for years. . It’s so old I can’t find it anymore. Diana Henry’s emphasis on chicken thighs is the first group I reach for. Kate Young’s chicken with tarragon (inspired by a dish on Anna Karenina) is a simple but delicious dish this time I throw a big handful of herbs into the sauce. The leeks that Nigella included in her one-pot chicken and orzo turned me into a chicken-and-leek evangelist. When I tried Rosie Mackean’s method of skin care and added to the filling, there was no turning back.

This, as is appropriate and appropriate for this column, is a classic chicken pie: big chunks of meat, lots of tender meat, buttery lentils, bacon eggs, all topped off with a roux-thickened sauce (or velouté, if we like) stirred with white wine, and added with a little oil at the end. The pasta is my perfect combination of shortbread and suet: a touch of filling, the crust is soft, almost like a dumpling, carrying the flavor of the sauce, but on top it is puffed up and like gold, but like dust. touch Suet is a great snack to work with: soft and firm, and easy to store – but if you don’t have the time or desire, store-bought puff will serve as a substitute.

The pie purists are looking at it now: my pie is just a pastry lid, no bottom. If it’s not a circle of dry puff floating on top of a box, I think this is acceptable, and the pastry filling is better. But I know there are people who disagree with me: if you can’t be moved by the description of the pie, double the dough, line the base of the pie plate, and rest the filling in advance of integration.

Although I make this with skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, you can use a whole roast chicken, or leftovers if you prefer. As a rule of thumb, you need 500g of lean, cooked meat. And if you’re going down this route, the carcass itself, stuck in a pot with a carrot, an onion and some celery, and covered in water, makes a good homemade chicken for you will use it together. During the holidays at my house, this pie becomes the base for leftover turkey pie, often with everything but Quality Street thrown in for good measure. When it’s available, I like to add a handful of wild garlic to the sauce instead of the tarragon. No matter how it’s finished, this pie comes with a culinary and friendly association. I think if you cook it – or a modified version – then you will be less lonely in the kitchen.

For food

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 75g butter, cold
  • 80g food
  • 100ml cold water
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 egg, per glass

For filling

  • 600g bone-in, skin-on chicken thigh

  • 100ml white wine
  • Chicken broth 600ml
  • 2 large leeks, cleaned and cut into 1cm pieces
  • 130g pancetta
  • 40g plain flour
  • 50ml double cream
  • 40g butter
  • 1 tsp tarragon chopped
  1. Rub the butter into the flour and salt until it resembles flour, then stir in the suet by mixing. Add the vinegar and water and mix first with a knife, then, a little more, with your hands. Roll it into a ball, cover it with cling film, and put it in the fridge for an hour.
  2. Place the chicken thigh and place it skin side down in a cold dish. Bring the pan to a high heat, and cook until the skin is removed from the pan, and golden brown – about 15 minutes. Turn the thighs over, and deglaze the pan with white wine. Add the food, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, then lift the thighs and set aside.
  3. Put the lardons in a cold pan over a medium heat, and cook until crisp. Add the butter and leeks to the pan, cook gently until soft, then stir the flour into the lardons and leeks, and cook for three minutes. Add the stock, a little at a time, then the oil and then the tarragon. Taste and adjust the garnishes accordingly.
  4. Pull out the chicken meat and skin. Combine with the potato in a pie dish, cover with cling film so that it touches the potato directly, and leave to cool.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C. When the filling is cold, roll the dough into a piece about the thickness of a pound coin, and place it on top of the pie filling, cut along the edges. Sprinkle with egg, and bake for one hour. Leave for ten minutes before serving.

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