Creamy chicken and mushroom pot pies

History of Pies 

Pie has been around since the ancient Egyptians. The first pies were made by early Romans who may have learned about it from the Greeks. These pies were sometimes made in 'reeds' which were used for the sole purpose of holding the filling and most definitely not for eating alongwith the filling. 

The Romans must have spread the word about pies around Europe as the Oxford English Dictionary notes that the word 'pie' was popular in the 14th century. The first pie recipe was published by the Romans and was for a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie. 

Early pies were predominately meat pies. Pyes (pies) originally appeared in England as early as the 12th century. The crust of the pie was referred to as 'coffyn', and there was generally more crust than filling. Often these pies were made using fowl with the legs left hanging over the side of the dish and used as handles. Fruit pies or tarts (pasties) were probably first made in the 1500s. English tradition credits making the first cherry pie to Queen Elizabeth I. 

Pie arrived in America with the first English settlers. The early colonists cooked their pies in long narrow pans calling them 'coffins' — a version of the English word 'coffyn' used at that time to describe the crust. As in Roman times, the early American pie crusts often were not eaten, but simply designed to hold the filling during baking. It was during the American Revolution that the term crust was used instead of 'coffin' or 'coffyn'. 

Over the years, pie evolved to become what it is today: 'the most traditional American dessert'. Pie has become so much a part of American culture, that we now commonly use the term 'as American as apple pie'. 

I can still clearly remember the delicious smell and taste of my mother’s home made pies — my earliest memory was probably when I was a small child around the age of three or four years old. Pies are a wonderful way to use up those left overs: fruit, meat, vegetable — whatever takes your fancy. 

Now that the cooler weather is well and truly with us, there's nothing as delicious as a home made pie...the quintessential comfort food.

This recipe, created in a ramekin, offers an appealing take on the traditional pie. The scrunched filo pastry on top not only looks appealing the crunchy texture adds to the taste sensation. We tried this recipe at home recently, and my better half, a self professed food critic and excellent cook, found it so irresistible that he asked for the recipe to be added to our 'regularly used' recipe box. Praise untold!

Enjoy! Don't forget to share your favourite recipes with your Prince Henry neighbours by completing the Feed back form below:

Recipe: Creamy chicken and mushroom pot pies

Serves 8

Preparation time: 20 minutes | cooking time: 40 minutes | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 60g butter
  • 1 leek, trimmed, sliced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 200g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 750g chicken thigh fillets, diced
  • 2 tbs plain flour
  • ¾ cup light thickened cream
  • 2 tbs Dijonnaise
  • 2 tbs finely chopped tarragon
  • 6 sheets filo pastry, halved

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200°c
  • Place four 1½-cup capacity bowls or ramekins on an ovenproof tray.
  • Heat oil and 20g butter in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat
  • Add leek, carrot and mushroom
  • Cook for 8 minutes or until just tender
  • Stir in chicken
  • Cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is browned
  • Sprinkle flour over chicken and stir until combined
  • Add cream, ½ cup water and dijonnaise
  • Bring to the boil
  • Simmer for 5 minutes
  • Remove from heat and stir in tarragon
  • Season with salt and pepper, then stir
  • Divide mixture among bowls or ramekins
  • Melt remaining butter
  • Brush filo sheets with melted butter
  • Lightly ‘scrunch’ 3 pieces of filo and arrange on top of each bowl
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and crisp
  • Serve straightaway
  • Timesaver tip - use frozen mixed vegetables with the chicken for a quick and easy option.

Recipe and image source

Woolworths 'Fresh' May 2016

 

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