Sometimes we crave the traditional dishes of our childhood. On a cold, British Sunday a chicken and mushroom pie was exactly what was needed. In this recipe in the Season’s Eatings kitchen, we have added spinach, partly as a way to boost the vitamin content of the pie, but also as a way to use up this leafy green, which was otherwise spoiling in the bottom of the fridge.
Spinach is a nutritious green, that although available year round, is coming into its most tender period during the Spring. We served our chicken, mushroom and spinach pie with some roasted root vegetables (sweet potatoes and butternut squash were to hand), as a way to interweave the winter and spring months on a single plate.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
- 3 chicken breasts
- 250g spinach
- 250g closed cup mushrooms (preferably organic)
- 1 red onion
- 300ml chicken stock
- 125ml white wine
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 sheet (320g) pre-rolled puff pastry
- 1 egg – beaten with a little water, as egg wash
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
- Finely chop the red onion and add to a large frying pan / skillet containing a couple of glugs of olive oil. Fry over a medium heat until softened.
- Meanwhile, rinse and chop the mushrooms, then add to the onions. Stir in the dried thyme and nutmeg. Leave to cook on a low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the interim cut up the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.
- Turn the heat up to medium, add a small glass of white wine of your choice – ensuring you pour yourself at least an equal measure – and leave the pan on the heat to starve off the alcohol for a couple of minutes.
- Add the chicken, and then approximately 200ml of the chicken stock, cooking for a further 5 – 10 minutes until the chicken pieces have cooked and turned white on the outside.
- Add the cornflour to help the sauce thicken and at this point add a little more of the reserved stock if your sauce has dried up a little or is too thick.
- Finally add the spinach, stirring in carefully to help the leafy green wilt into the pie mixture, then transfer to a 24cm diameter pie dish.
- Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll out the puff pastry until it’s large enough for the pie dish.
- Carefully roll the pastry over the pie dish, crimping the edges around the dish. Cut off any overhangs with a sharp knife, cut a small slot in the middle to let the steam escape, then brush with the egg wash.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown, puffed and risen.
- Leave to cool before for a few minutes, and serve with roasted root vegetables.