It’s pie time. Chicken Spinach and Feta Pie to be exact
As if it’s ever not pie time….
Well in my house anyway, no matter the weather a pie is always welcome. This pie is the ants pants. It has it all. Vegetables first and foremost (not that anyone around here noticed it was green), and then a quick cooking chicken base. It is topped off with our new favourite – feta mash, and wrapped in a supportive hot water crust. This is a very forgiving pastry.
I know you will love it. Except that it isn’t one of those Jamie Oliver 15 minute meals. It will take a little bit of commitment to put it together. The good thing is that it is easily reheated and still tastes good. In fact, even though it took me about 1 hour to make, the next couple of days were easy as ….pie. It lasted for several meals
I will repeat the method for hot water crust from here
- 150 gm butter (salted or unsalted)
- 200 ml water (3/4 cup)
- 2 eggs (medium not small)
- 450 gm plain flour
- ½ teaspoon salt ( salt is important for browning and flavour here)
- 1 extra egg yolk
- ⅛ teaspoon salt extra for glazing beaten together
- Use a 20 cm or 8 inch springform tin or pie dish
- Put the butter and water into a small pot and put over a medium heat till the butter dissolves and the liquid reaches a rolling boil. Take off the heat.
- Mix the flour and salt and pour into a mixer bowl. Mix the two eggs together in a cup breaking up with a fork. Pour the flour and egg into the mixer and add the water and butter mixture turning onto low immediately.( remember the liquid is warm and might cook the egg if it sits too long)
- Mix till the dough forms a ball. Pour out onto a bench and push the dough into a disc. ( if using a wooden spoon stir till the liquid is all but mixed in and then knead lightly. Over kneading will give a tougher crust, so work it gently till it is nice and smooth. If your dough is very sticky and stays in clumps on your hands then sprinkle with more flour till it just comes together. ( some eggs are bigger and some flour is just not as absorbant). Cool the pastry a little and refrigerate till cold
- Once the pastry is cool. Divide into x 2 . One disc should be about ¾ of the dough and ¼ left for a lid. Use a little flour to roll it out the dough and push into a greased pie plate. The pastry is plyable.
- Fill the base then brush the edges with egg and add the lid. Crimp around the top
- Paint the top with egg yolk and pierce a couple of holes on the top.
- Bake at 180 degrees for approximately 35-40 minutes or until golden
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 stick celery chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano chopped
- 100 ml olive oil (4 Tablespoons)
- 250 gm frozen spinach ( I used frozen chopped but you cold use fresh)
- 500 gm chicken mince ( ground)
- 4 heaped tablespoons flour
- 1 cup ( 250ml) chicken stock
- 100gm grated cheese (3.5 oz)
- 1 kg potato (Peeled and chopped)
- 150 gm danish feta cheese
- 250 ml milk (up to 1 cup)
- 100 gm butter
- Salt and pepper
- 1 egg yolk.
- 100 ml olive oil
- Heat the oven to 180C or 350F
- Line and blind bake the pastry crust base and set aside. I roll and fill the pie dish or cake tin leaving a bit of pastry overhanging the sides. Fill it with paper then beans or baking beads and bake at 180 C for around 15 minutes. Remove the paper and bake a further 5-10 minutes or till starting to colour
- Put a medium pot on the heat and add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and add the onion, garlic, celery and oregano. Sweat it gently for 5 minutes or till soft add the chicken and break up a bit while stirring until it starts to colour. Add the flour and stir through and heat well before adding ¾ of the stock and the spinach. ( if using fresh spinach add last). Keep stirring and breaking down the spinach and the sauce thickens. Season well tasting as you go. Stand aside while you finish the mash.
- While the chicken is cooking put the potatoes on to steam. Break the feta up into the milk and warm ( I use the microwave till just warm- don't boil),then break up the and mix through the milk with a fork. Once the potatoes are riced or mashed add the butter and salt. Mix well then start to add the milk. Mixing and continue to add till it's all gone. Finally break the yolk with a fork and mix in 1 Tablespoon water then whisk it briskly through the potato till incorporated. taste for salt and pepper. add if needed.
- Pour the filling into the pie.
- Spoon or pipe the potato onto the top of the pie.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Test for doneness by poking a knife into the centre of the pie after 30 minutes, feel the knife to test the temperature of the centre of the pie. Remember the filling is already cooked.