Chicken, buttermilk and wild garlic pie
Wild garlic, chicken and buttermilk make a delicious springtime pie. Gizzi cooked this live at the National Festival of Making in Blackburn.
Equipment: You will need a food processor and a 23cm/9in pie dish.
For the filling
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 30g/1oz unsalted butter
- 2 leeks, finely sliced into rounds
- 30g/1oz plain flour
- 175ml/6fl oz dry white wine
- 500ml/18fl oz fresh chicken stock
- 250ml/9fl oz buttermilk
- 1 bunch wild garlic, (about 10 leaves)
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pastry
For the filling, heat the oil over a high heat in a frying pan with a lid. Fry the chicken thighs for 5–10 minutes, until they are deep golden-brown on both sides. You may need to do this in two batches. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Turn the heat down to low and add the butter to the pan along with the leeks and gently fry for 10 minutes, covered, until softened but not browned. Add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the white wine and allow to bubble for a minute, stirring, then add the chicken stock. Add the chicken back into the pan, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the buttermilk and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is well thickened.
Meanwhile, put the wild garlic into a food processor and blend to a fine purée.
Remove the pie filling from the heat, stir through the wild garlic purée, and season well with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Transfer the filling to a bowl and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but overnight is preferable.
For the pastry, add the flour, butter, parmesan, cayenne and salt to a food processor and quickly pulse to a breadcrumb consistency. Add a teaspoon of cold water at a time until the pastry just comes together. Be careful not to make the pastry too wet or it will be tough. Tip out onto a floured surface and bring together lightly into a ball. Cut one-third of the pastry off for the pie top. Wrap both pieces in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
To assemble the pie, dust your work surface lightly with flour, then roll out the larger portion of pastry until it is the thickness of a pound coin. Dust your rolling pin with flour, and carefully drape the pastry over it. Transfer the pastry from the pin into a 23cm/9in pie dish. Carefully line the base of your dish, pressing down into the corners. Leave the edges untrimmed at this stage.
Fill the lined pie dish with the cold filling and brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg. Roll out the smaller portion of pastry to make the top. Use the rolling pin as before to transfer the pastry to the top of the pie. With a sharp knife, trim off the excess pastry to make a neat edge. You can push down the edges with a fork to seal them tight, or crimp them. Push the pastry down towards the outside of the dish with one finger. Pinch the pastry around that finger with the finger and thumb of your other hand to create a scallop. Repeat all along the edge.
Roll out any excess pastry and using a cutter of your choice, (I went for hearts), make some decoration for the lid of the pie. Brush with the beaten egg and return to the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5.
Glaze the top of the pie once more, then bake for 35–40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked all the way though. Delicious served with buttery mash and spring greens.