Monday, 17 February 2020

Chicken and Rabbit Pie


Chicken and rabbit pie with green beans. Cooked and Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

One day I happened to complain to my friend Jean, who writes Baking in Franglais, that I didn't have a traditional pie dish. I had plenty of flan, quiche and tart pans, but nothing that was really an old fashioned pie dish. The next thing I knew, Jean had scoured her local charity shops in England, and found me two Pyrex style dishes, which she very kindly gave to me. These chicken and rabbit pies were the first thing I made in them, and they worked a treat. This recipe makes enough for one double crust pie serving four and one single crust pie.

Chicken and rabbit pie. Cooked and Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Ingredients
Pastry
3 cups flour
250 g cream cheese, cut into cubes
125 g butter, cut into cubes
2 egg yolks

Filling
1 tbsp oil
2 onions, peeled and chopped
125 g lardons
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
500 g chicken pieces
500 g rabbit pieces
60 g butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
125 g grated cheese (Cheddar, comté or similar)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp seedy mustard

An egg yolk
A tsp of milk

Method
  1. Grease two pie dishes.
  2. Make pastry (steps 3 - 4)
  3. Rub cheese and butter into flour using a food processor on pulse.
  4. Add the two egg yolks and process until the dough forms a ball, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Make the filling (steps 6 - 13)
  6. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions and bacon, cook until the onions are soft, then add the garlic, stirring for a few seconds.
  7. Transfer the onion and bacon mixture to a bowl and reheat the pan.
  8. Brown the chicken, then the rabbit.
  9. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for a minute.
  10. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk gradually.
  11. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly until it thickens.
  12. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheeses and mustard.
  13. Combine the onion and bacon mixture, and chicken and rabbit, with the cheese sauce and put aside to cool.
  14. Put the pies together and bake (steps 15 - 26).
  15. Heat the oven to 200C.
  16. Divide the dough into three and roll one third out to line one pie dish.
  17. Trim the pastry then cover with baking paper and weigh it down (I use copper coins).
  18. Bake the pie case for 20 minutes then remove the paper and weights and bake a further five minutes.
  19. Let the pastry case cool and put a pie funnel in the centre of the other pie dish.
  20. Put half the filling in the pastry case and the other half in the unlined dish.
  21. Whisk together the extra egg yolk and milk.
  22. Roll out another third of the pastry, brush the edge of the prepared pastry base with the egg yolk and milk mixture, and lay the newly rolled pastry over the pie.
  23. Press the pastry edges together carefully and decoratively then trim.
  24. Roll out the final third of pastry and lay over the other pie, pressing lightly into the edge of the dish and trimming the excess.
  25. Cut slits in the pastry tops and brush them with the egg wash.
  26. Bake for 35 minutes.
Chicken and rabbit pie. Cooked and Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

The flour I used was purchased at my local Intermarché supermarket at Yzeures sur Creuse, and comes from the last working flour windmill (Fr. minoterie) in Berry. Local butter, from the Laiterie  Cooperative de Verneuil, can be purchased from their factory shop or local supermarkets and corner stores.

Chicken and rabbit pie. Cooked and Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

The chicken and rabbit came from my local poultry producer, who sells at the market in Preuilly on Thursday mornings and Loches market Wednesday and Saturday mornings. The milk came from a local dairy farm that home delivers. She also supplies the EpiServices in Preuilly and Le Grand Pressigny, and the Intermarché supermarket in Yzeures sur Creuse.

Chicken and rabbit pie. Cooked and Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

The parmesan cheese was bought from the Italian pasta stall in Loches market on Saturdays.

Chicken and rabbit pie. Cooked and Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Chicken and rabbit at a farmers market, Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Stoneground flour from the Berry, France.  Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Unsalted butter from the Laiterie de Verneuil, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.



Yum

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2 comments:

Jean said...

Your pies look delicious and I'm so glad the pie dishes have come in handy.
Several more of them have turned up in the charity shops lately, which I find strange. The only reason I can think of for anyone giving away such a useful item is that they don't make pies any more, buying them from the supermarkets instead, which is a shame.

Susan said...

And yet it's not like pies are tricky if you use store bought pastry!

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