Are you sick of my courgette recipes yet?! It’s not my fault….the bloomin’ courgette plants just keep growing bloomin’ courgettes don’t they! It seems like I’m cutting one a day at the moment! I’m having to be seriously imaginative with my recipe creating I can tell you!
Today’s treat for those green fingered courgette growers amongst you is a delicious, filling, family-friendly chicken pie. Easy to make and a great alternative for a Sunday roast or a friday night family tea. My kids have all started at new schools this term and I think because of all their adrenalin and new timetables and clubs and experiences that are going on for them, they’re coming home absolutely knackered and starving hungry. I’ve been making something in the afternoon before I go get them from school just so that I can get it on the table as quickly as possible once we’re all back.
And the other thing I keep realising is that my kids appetites are getting bigger and bigger….well, actually, I think it’s just my kids that are getting bigger but the two go hand in hand I guess! The littlest bear is at that annoying stage where he just grazes all day long but he does usually manage to sit down and eat something decent at tea time. And to be honest I’d much rather eat at that time too instead of waiting till 8 o’clock or later till the hubs gets home. If I eat earlier I just don’t get that horrid bloated-full up-exhausted feeling and I think I digest my food much better.
This recipe uses basic store cupboard ingredients including, plain gluten free flour, a gluten free ready made frozen puff pastry and a gluten free stock as the base for the filling sauce, it’s a free-from friendly treat that everyone can enjoy. The pastry I’ve had sitting at the bottom of my freezer for forever but you can get hold of it online or from Ocado and other supermarkets tend to stock the Genius brand alternative which is perhaps easier to find.
I started off browning some lovely pancetta in my casserole dish which then adds loads of yummy salty flavour to the chicken. It’s important to coat the chicken in the flour, seasoning and tarragon at this stage because as it sautés in the pan it not only picks up all the bacon flavour from the pancetta but it also gives a slightly crispy coating to the chicken leaving the chicken meat in the centre beautifully soft and moist, plus when the stock is added the flour thickens the sauce naturally without leaving any lumps in your sauce. I love using tarragon with chicken but you could use thyme or sage if you don’t have it. I obviously used up lots of my courgettes and squash from the garden in this recipe but you could just use mushrooms or carrots would work well too.
Chicken & Courgette Pie
You will need this:
- 1 pack of frozen gluten free puff pastry
- 1 pack of ready cut pancetta
- 5 chicken breast cut into chunks
- 2tbsp gluten free plain flour
- 1tsp dried tarragon
- 1/2 glass of white wine
- 2tbsp veggie butter
- 2 large courgettes or summer squash (use a mixture of types/colours if you can) cut into 2cm chunks
- large handful of white mushrooms cut into 2cm chunks
- 1 pint of gluten free veggie stock
- 1tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1/2tsp english mustard
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 beaten egg
You make it like this:
- Remove your frozen pastry from the freezer and leave to defrost at room temperature for a few hours
- Gently fry the pancetta in a tiny drop of oil so it doesn’t stick too badly to the bottom of the pan
- Chop your chicken breasts into chunks and then mix through 2tbsp gluten free plain flour, 1tsp dried tarragon and plenty of salt and black pepper
- Once the pancetta is nice and crispy add the chicken
- Allow the chicken to cook, stirring frequently to stop sticking, until it’s turned white and slightly browned
- Remove it all from the pan
- Deglaze the bottom of the pan with half a glass of white wine, turn up the heat until it’s bubbling, scrap all the sticky bits of the bottom of the pan and then add 2tbsp of veggie butter, turn heat down – this is the beginning of your sauce
- Add your chopped courgettes and allow to soften in the sauce for a few minutes before adding the mushrooms and stir through for another couple of minutes
- Add 1tsp of wholegrain mustard and 1/2tsp of english mustard before pouring the chicken mixture back in
- Slowly add a pint of gluten free veggie stock stirring all the time until the sauce starts to thicken up
- Then add the juice from a lemon – this is your pie mixture done – pop into your final pie dish and put in the fridge for 30mins until it cools down
- Roll out your pastry
- Remove the dish from the fridge
- Cut a strip of pastry the same thickness as the edge the pie dish and using beaten egg stick the strip all around the edge of the pie dish
- Then cut a big piece of pastry, big enough to cover the whole pie dish, and using the beaten egg again stick onto your pastry edge, crimp edges with a fork and brush the remaining beaten egg all over the top (gluten free pastry is delicate so I would recommend rolling it out thicker than I did, probably 2 pound coins in thickness would be better)
- Bake in the oven at 180 for 30mins
I served our pie with lovely potatoes fresh from the garden and some peas and broccoli on the side…whatever you’re into I hope you enjoy this pie your favourite way and that your family enjoy it too. Lv Ax