A light filo chicken and vegetable pie
What do you do when you want comfort food but still keep it light? I love food like a good mac & cheese, bangers and mash, a really good burger and all the trimmings. The other night just as I had turned the light out I was listening to the wind howl around every corner of the house and the rain hitting the windows as lightning lit up the whole room. Having a dog who is scared of thunder laying next to me on the floor in his dog bed, we both sat up. The only thing I could do was to put a robe on and sit down next to him. We sat there as the thunder went past, the dog shaking and me just talking in a what I hoped was a soothing voice.
It seemed to work and after about half an hour everything was back to normal. As I was sitting there I was thinking about how nice it can be in the winter and how comfort foods really can be, well, very comforting. I think it is somewhere then I started to think about chicken pie. I am not quite sure if this is normal but in the end I fell asleep. It took a few days before I had decided how to make the pie and I actually had the time to make it.
The challenge was to make the pie as light as possible but still to make it delicious and to give it that comforting taste. I wasn’t going to make a blog as it wasn’t too difficult but I think it worked so well I wanted to share this. I used ready made filo pastry, not being a brilliant baker the thought of making my own filo pastry seems like one step too far!
Filo pastry is often brushed with melted butter but I substituted this for extra virgin olive oil and I didn’t brush the whole sheet, a great way to use less fat.
Filo crusted chicken and vegetable pie
preparation time 10 minutes
cooking time 10 + 25-30 minutes
oven 200C or 390F
- 1/2 cooked chicken, stripped meat only. I used half a smoked chicken
- 6 mushrooms
- 2 celery stalks
- 1/4 head of cauliflower
- small tin of sweetcorn
- 5 dl or 2 1/2 dl skimmed milk
- 1 cube of chicken stock
- 1 dl or 1/2 cup grated light cheddar cheese
- 1/2 tsp white truffle paste (you can use truffle oil instead)
- 4 large tsp corn starch
- salt and white pepper to taste
For the topping
- 8 sheets of filo pastry
- a pinch of sea salt
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sumac
- 1/2 tsp chia seeds
Rinse and chop the cauliflower and celery stalks. Cut them in approx equal sized pieces. Place in a steamer and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil turn the heat off and leave until you are ready to mix the filling.
Cook the mushrooms without any fat and add chilli flakes and salt to taste. Drain the sweetcorn.
Start the bechamel. Bring the milk to almost a boil, add the chicken stock cube and mix the corn starch with a little cold water. Grate the cheese. Add the corn starch to the milk and let boil for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat off and stir in the cheddar cheese. Taste with salt and pepper and add the truffle last. Start with a little and add more.
Add the sweetcorn, mushrooms, chicken, steamed cauliflower and celery to the bechamel.
Mix it all together and place in an oven proof dish.
Take out the filo pastry from the fridge and separate the sheets. Scrunch them up and place on the pie filling. Brush with the olive oil and sprinkle over the sea salt, sumac and chia seeds.
Bake until the filo pastry is crunchy and the filling bubbling.
I wasn’t sure if it would work but it was, if I can say so absolutely delicious, the filling was soft, the vegetables were slightly al dente and the filo pastry crunchy. I didn’t serve the pie with a salad as I had so much veg in the filling, nice and easy, grab a plate, a fork and serve up.