Chicken and Chorizo Pie

After the ramen I made at the weekend I wanted to use up the chicken meat I had shredded after making the stock, and about 250ml of the broth/stock I had left over. I cam across this recipe on the Good Food website which made for a sumptious weeknight meal that I would have normally saved for a weekend due to the time I think it takes to make a good pie. As always I made a few changes to the original recipe – mainly the swap of cream for creme fraiche to make it lighter and using the recooked chicken I had in the fridge. If you don’t have the luxury of the chicken and stock leftover that I had of course you could follow the original recipe linked above to prepare from scratch.

Ingredients – serves 4 (or two greedy people having seconds!)

  • one white onion, finely diced
  • two garlic cloves, minced/grated
  • half a chorizo ring (about 120g), in round slices then halved
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour (I used gluten free)
  • 300ml chicken stock (homemade if possible for better flavour)
  • 100ml creme fraiche
  • chicken meat from 20 wings (about 500g), shredded
  • large handful of parsley, chopped
  • 250g puff pastry
  • splash of milk for brushing (or egg wash if you prefer)

Method – takes about 45 minutes (if chicken is already cooked)

Sweat the onion and garlic in olive oil in a frying pan for 5-7 minutes until soft. Add the chorizo and fry for a few minutes until it starts to crisp and release its own oil. Stir in the flour, allow to cook for 30 seconds and then stir in the chicken stock.

Stir and let the stock heat through and thicken with the flour. Add the creme fraiche and allow to heat through, stirring slowly. Add the chicken and cook for a minute or so until warmed through. Decide if the consistency is thick enough – if not use cornflour to thicken. Stir through the parsley and a grind of black pepper. The chorizo and stock should mean salt isn’t needed but check for seasoning and add if needed.

Pour the filling into a pie dish that it will pretty much fill. You don’t want too much space between the filling and the pastry.

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Roll the pastry out until about half a centimetre thick. Brush the edge of the dish with milk and place the pastry over the top, finishing with our choice of edging. I like to use the end of a fork to press down the edges and then use a knife to trim. Make some fun decorations with the trimming and use milk to stick them on the top! Brush the pie all over with milk or egg wash and use the tip of a knife to put two small air holes in the top of the pastry. Put the pie in a pre heated oven (180 degrees fan) on a baking tray (in case of spillages!) for half an hour until the pastry is golden and crisp.

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Serve with some green veg and enjoy!

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Orzo with Prawns and Tomatoes

I was at the supermarket looking for a specific type of pasta (which they sadly didn’t have – turns out Mafaldine is really hard to get hold of!) when I came across orzo. I have had this one before when on holiday in Greece and I remember really enjoying the pasta cross with rice sort of texture. So I picked up a pack thinking a nice tomato sauce and some prawns would go nicely with it. I googled a few recipes for inspiration but didn’t really like any of them in entirety. Instead I merged the bits I liked together and came up with the following recipe. In particular I really liked the idea of treating the orzo like a risotto rice and using passata rather than water to cook it in. The smoky chorizo brings a delicious rich flavour and the roasted tomatoes on top burst with flavour as you start eating. Super tasty!

Ingredients – serves two

  • olive oil
  • 6 tomatoes on the vine (or more if they are cherry/plum tomatoes)
  • two echalion shallots (or 3-4 small round shallots), finely diced
  • one garlic clove, minced/grated
  • half of a chorizo ring – about 100-130g (I used a slightly spicy one but you could go for smoky to avoid any heat)
  • half a glass of white wine
  • 180g orzo
  • 300g passata (use just over half a carton if buying a 500g one)
  • 200ml hot water (if needed)
  • frozen peas (about 100g, but I just poured them until it looked about right!)
  • parmesan – a good couple of handfuls when grated (see picture)
  • handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped

Method – takes about half an hour including prep

Start by getting the vine tomatoes straight into the oven (180 degrees fan oven) on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and liberally season with salt and pepper. Prick them a couple of times with the end of a knife to avoid explosions in the oven too!

Gently sweat the shallots and garlic in a  heavy based saucepan until softened (about 8 minutes). Meanwhile, peel the chorizo stick and slice into rounds about 1cm thick. I like to then cut them in half to get more chunks. Add to the pan and allow to sizzle for a few minutes.

Once the oils have started to come out of the chorizo and it is all smelling delicious add in the orzo and stir with a wooden spoon to coat in the oils. Leave for 30 seconds and then pour in the wine and allow to bubble for a minute or so.

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Cook off the alcohol before adding the passata

 

Once the wine has almost been absorbed, pour in the passata, stir and leave to simmer for 8 minutes. Keep stirring every few minutes, adding a splash of hot water if it starts to look too thick. I used about 200ml in total to keep the orzo cooking in the sauce.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan sear the prawns on each side on a high heat so that they are just pink.

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Pan fry the prawns until just pink

Once the orzo is tender (it will still have a bit of a bite like a risotto rice) add the peas, parmesan and parsley. Put the lid on and leave for a couple of minutes for the cheese to melt and the peas and prawns to cook through. At this stage take the tomatoes out the oven to cook slightly before serving.

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Two handfuls of parmesan and one handful of parsley

Give it all a good stir and serve into bowls. Cut off the stalks (I like to leave a little of the green for presentation) from the tomatoes and nestle 3 on the top of each serving (more if using cherry tomatoes). A little parmesan and parsley to sprinkle on the top finishes it nicely, then tuck in!

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