There was a lot of love in the supermarket today. It hit you when you walked though the automatic doors, heart shaped chocolate boxes, flowers with hearts on the cellophane, sickly looking pink champagne, underwear (is there anything more off-putting when you are shopping for food) covered in little hearts, love bug bunting (a new one on me) and red heart-shaped candles that are sure to make your home smell like vanilla sick and look like an advert for a gentleman’s club.
It’s not that I don’t like a little romance from time to time. Just not when someone who is sure to make a load of money off it tells me to. The last time we went out for a Valentines meal as a couple was a about 12 years ago and it was the last time. We booked a table for two at a tiny Italian restaurant, it was going to be a night of wine, pasta and love. What the proprietor had omitted to tell us that he had hired out the rest of the venue for a party. So there we were, us and 20 drunk strangers on a long table who were clearly amused at the couple celebrating the most over hyped day of the year. We bolted down our meal (I am not sure that we even had dessert) and headed off to the nearest pub. Since then we have either shunned the celebrations or have been out with some good friends for a bit of a knees up. Unfortunately said friends have had something of a tiff and are not particularly feeling the love so, for Valentines 2011, it is chicken pie for two and a DVD at home – the very unromantic Wall Street (Money Never Sleeps).
Loved Up Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie
Make up one quantity of pastry and put it in the fridge while you make the pie filling.
- 480g free range chicken breast cut up into 2 cm pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pan of boiling water
Put the chicken and bay into the boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Drain, remove the bay leaf and set aside.
- 100g leeks sliced thinly
- 100g mushrooms sliced thinly
- 1 teaspoon of groundnut oil
- 100ml of Vermouth or white wine
In a frying pan heat up the oil and saute the leeks and mushrooms until they are softened but not coloured (if needs be put a lid over the pan while they are cooking to retain some of their liquid). Add the Vermouth or wine and boil rapidly until the liquid has evaporated. Take the pan off the heat. Add the chicken to the pan. Set aside.
- 40g plain flour
- 300ml fresh chicken stock
- 100ml double cream
In a small pan blend together the flour and 50ml of the chicken stock until smooth. Turn on a low heat and gradually add the rest of the chicken stock and then the cream. When the sauce thickens pour it over the chicken, leeks and mushrooms. Mix well.
Preheat your oven to 220c
- Small quantity of egg wash (yolk and milk mix)
Get your pastry out of the fridge and cut in half. Roll out each half so they are big enough to form a top (needs to be slightly bigger than the bottom circle) and bottom for the pie. Butter the pie dish and lay over the bottom circle of pastry. Pour over the filling. Top with the second round of pastry. Brush with the egg wash and bake for 30 minutes.
I did put a heart shaped pastry decoration on the pie - Happy Valentines Day! x