Cream of Chicken Pie

In case you haven’t noticed by now, I am a kitchen appliance freak. However, one appliance I resisted purchasing for a long time was a pie-maker. I’ve never been fond of pies and didn’t see good value in buying a maker. That is until my mum bought one, and then I was hooked! I became desperate to buy a pie maker and would search through junk mail ads on a daily basis for cheap deals. 
Someone told me that Aldi used to sell them, so I dragged Mangy to Aldi, from store to store…looking for their elusive $15 pie-maker with no luck. I eventually caved in and bought myself a proper deep pie-maker and haven’t looked back since.
Along with the rice-cooker, I reckon pie-makers are a must have appliance in every modern kitchen. Leftovers are turned into beautiful meals within minutes. All you need is store-bought puff pastry.
If you have leftover soup, you can thicken it up with potato and use that as filling. Leftover curry, even pasta with lots of cheese make great lunches the next day.
Here we’ve got my Cream of Chicken pie that really started life off as soup. Instead of using flour to thicken, I use a packet of home-brand cream of chicken soup. The sauce thickens beautifully and you get lots of flavour. If you can only find packet soup with croutons on nasty dry noodles, just sift the powdery stuff out.
You’ll need:
  • 1 tablespoon (20ml) oil
  • 400g skinless chicken breast or thigh fillets, chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 100g bacon, finely diced (I use Halal beef bacon available at Sav Butcher in Dandenong)
  • 3/4 cup leek – finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic- grated
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 packet cup soup cream of chicken or plain flour
  • hot water
  • 1/3 cup cooking cream
  • Salt to taste
  • White and black pepper, to taste
  • Cinnamon powder – pinch
  • Garlic powder – pinch
  • ground nutmeg – pinch
  • Parsley – finely chopped
  • Rosemary – finely chopped
  • Thyme – finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup tasty cheddar cheese – grated + extra for topping pies
  • Tobasco sauce to taste
  • Mushroom
  • Corn kernels
  • Grated carrots (add last, leave raw)

Heat oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan or frying pan over high heat. Add chicken, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6-7 minutes, or until lightly browned. If necessary, cook the chicken in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add bacon, leek, and garlic, rosemary, mushrooms, corn to saucepan, and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, or until leek has softened and bacon is cooked. Set mixture.

Heat butter, stir in soup powder, once bubbling and thick, add hot water and cook, add cream and cheese. Add seasonings. (Cook until thickened, leave more liquid if you wish to have it as soup) Add grated carrot. Stir and remove from heat.

To make pies:
Use pastry cutter (provided with pie-maker) to cut out the tops and bottoms of pies from puff pastry. Line the dish according to manufacturer’s instructions. Fill ¾ with pie filling, top with extra cheese. Put pastry lid on, and cook pies. Serve with tomato ketchup – Enjoy!

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