19 January 2011

Biscuit Chicken Potato Pie

Last night I thought I would have a go at recreating the Gallimaufry Pie, which was my fiftieth post on this blog - this post, incidentally, is (I think) my ninety-fourth, so we're nearly at the 100 mark! Very exciting.

Anyway, I wanted to use up some chicken, as well as the cream we bought yesterday, and I completely forgot to add the bacon, and we don't have any sweet potato anyway, so this pie is actually quite far removed from the original Gallimaufry. Hence the far less imaginative name.

It's a good pie nonetheless - I love the easy biscuit topping. (In fact, I loved it so much I made it again this morning. More details on that coming up.) It was tangy and sweet and salty and crunchy and creamy and gorgeous. What's more, it could easily be adapted to suit your particular tastes on any given night: add more potato, or some sweet potato, for a heavier meal, or courgettes for a lighter one. In fact, add whatever you bloody well like. I bet the bacon would be good in it as well.

That said, it is a bit of a frantic meal - in my small kitchen, with no help (during all the parts when I could have used a hand, Tom was conveniently either still out or on the toilet), I felt a bit overwhelmed at times. If you have time, this recipe can be done calmly and still be ready within, say, 80 minutes. As long as nothing burns, everything is perfectly happy to stay on the heat as long as you need it to.

Easy Biscuit Chicken Potato Pie
Serves 4 with a side

2 large onions
2 garlic cloves
1 large chilli
2 chicken breasts
Chilli powder
3 small potatoes
1/2 glass white wine
100ml cream
1 bell pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon mustard

2 cups flour
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon lemon vinegar
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon of milk, separate

Finely dice one of the onions, both garlic cloves and the chilli. Chop the chicken breasts into chunks, sprinkle these ingredients with chilli powder, and fry in a large pan on a low heat.

Chop the potatoes (peeling first if you want) into chunks roughly the same size as the chicken chunks, and boil for about ten minutes.

Add the white wine to the chicken pan and turn the heat up, allowing the alcohol to burn off. Once the potatoes are ready, drain and add them to the chicken pan, along with 100ml cream (or slightly more if that looks too dry). Chop the bell pepper chunkily and add it to the pan. Turn the heat down to its lowest possible setting, and season. Add more chilli powder to taste.

Quickly mix the flour, milk, baking powder, vinegar and oil in a bowl. The mixture should be thick and sticky and difficult to stir.

Rinse out the potato pan and dry it. Heat some oil in the pan while you finely slice the second onion in half and then into crescent-moon shapes, and then dump into the pan. Stir. Once the onions are fairly soft, add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and stir to coat. Continue cooking this on a low heat, allowing the onions to soak up the balsamic flavour, while you prepare the mayonnaise mixture.

Mix the mayonnaise, lime juice and mustard in a small bowl and whisk.

Now it's time to assemble the pie!
Spread half of the chicken potato mixture on the bottom of your oven-proof dish. Pile half the caramelized onions on top and dot with half of the mayonnaise mixture. Repeat with the second half of each mixture.

Using a couple of spoons, blob the dough mixture on top of the pie. It's going to look ugly, but don't worry. You're meant to be able to see the pie filling underneath the various biscuit blobs. Brush each bit of dough with the tablespoon of milk you kept separate.

Put in the oven at 180 degrees (360 Fahrenheit) for twenty-five minutes. Serve.