Published on October 12th, 2015 | by Gareth0
Chicken and asparagus pies
Versatile and simple to prepare, eat it roasted in a salad, in a soup, in a quiche or just steamed with lemon and butter. I’m talking about asparagus and it’s back in season is back in season in Australia. This is a good thing because I love the bitter, sweet taste of the emerald green spears.
Asparagus also happens to be incredibly good for you; high in fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K. If that wasn’t enough, it also packs a powerful antioxidant punch (to help fight free radicals that age the body) and makes your wee smell funny.
So it’s in season (meaning you’re supporting local farmers) and it’s good for you. Here’s one more reason to eat asparagus, pies! Chicken and asparagus with a drop of vermouth to be precise, and they’re dead easy to make (especially if you take a short cut and use bought pastry – noooo). Granted being enveloped in pastry, over shadows health benefits of the asparagus, but this is easily the tastiest pie I have made since the Christmas left overs pie (turkey and ham).
I chatted about the recipe idea to Erin the brain prior to baking, she suggested making the top with a lattice of asparagus instead of pastry. Unfortunately my basket weaving skills aren’t what they used to be and such a feat proved to hard on mini pies. I’d say it would be easier on a large pit though.
Please excuse the low quality photos, as explained in the last post (lemon & pistachio biscuits with rosemary), natural light has all but been shut out of our apartment for a few months – sad/angry face.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Makes 13-14 small pies of one large one
• 6 large chicken thighs
• 2 bunches of asparagus
• 1 stick of celery – finely chopped
• 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
• 1 onion – finely chopped
• 60ml vermouth, or dry white wine
• 2 tbsp. thick cream, crème fraiche or sour cream
• 600ml chicken stock
• Seasoning – salt and pepper
• Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
• Trim the thighs of fat. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium sized pan, reduce heat and poach the thighs whole for ten minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
• Heat a dash of olive oil or a knob of butter in a small pan; fry the onion, celery and 4 sticks of asparagus (chopped) until soft (but not browned).
• Roll out the pastry so it’s about the same thickness as a 50cent/pence coin.
• If making mini pies, use a large cookie cutter to cut pastry rounds to line a (greased) large muffin tray. Or line one large pie tin/dish.
• Blind baking is optional; it stops the pastry going soggy, but can be a fiddle with the baking beans if you opt to make mini pies. Anyway to blind bake – place baking paper over the pastry (once in the tin).
• Top up with baking beans, rice or dried beans (to weigh the pastry down). Bake for ten minutes at 180 degreesC.
• Remove the poached chicken from the stock and roughly chop and add to the onions and celery. Cook over a low heat.
• Add the vermouth, cream, seasoning, thyme and 2 tablespoons of the stock.
• Cook for about 5 minutes until the filling thickens. If it doesn’t thicken, add a teaspoon of corn flour.
• Spoon the filling into the pastry line pie tin/muffin moulds.
• Top with the remaining asparagus – makes for a lighter pie.
• Bake for 20-30 minutes.
• Serve hot or cold.
Close by, someone is lurking in the shadows ready to pinch a pie……busted wee man!