Monday, June 9, 2008 at 11:37PM
I still had most of a jar of preserved lemons left after buying them for the cous cous dish I did a while ago and since my other half would happily have pie every day of the week and has been bugging me to do this recipe ever since I got the book, I decided to give it a go.
The book is called Sophie Conran's Pies and is full of lovely pie recipes to get you salivating.
The recipe serves 4
Couple of glugs of olive oil
knob of butter
4 leeks halved length ways and sliced thinly
1 tsp ground cumin
4 small preserved lemons, rinsed and roughly chopped
1kg chicken thighs, boned, skin removed and cut into about 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 tbsp plain flour
250ml chicken stock, as good quality as possible
200g green olives, ( I quite like black olives too, but are a bit stronger in taste) stoned and roughly chopped
3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
300g puff pastry (you can make this yourself if you are feeling adventurous, but I never have)
1 free range beaten egg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large casserole on a medium heat and add a glug of olive oil and a knob of butter. Fry the leeks for about five minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the cumin and fry for another minute to release it's aromatic flavour. Stir in the chopped lemons and leave to one side.
Then heat a frying pan over a medium to high heat and add olive oil. Brown the chicken off in batches, trying not to over crowd the pan. Add the chicken and all the cooking juices to the casserole with the leeks in it and sprinkle over the flour.
Stir in the flour and cook for a few minutes before gradually adding the stock. Simmer gently for about seven minutes and when the sauce has thickened nicely add the olives and parsley. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Pre heat the oven to 200 deg centigrade. Once cool,spoon the chicken mixture into a suitable pie dish. Roll out a the pastry so it is large enough to cover the pie dish, brush the rim of the pie dish with beaten egg and place the pastry on top. Press down around the edges with a fork or your thumb and then trim off the excess. Make a pretty pattern with the excess if you like (I made a disabled chicken, do you like it?.. I forgot to brush him with egg though so he didn't show up too well). Brush all over with the beaten egg and then make a cut in the middle so that steam can escape and help the pastry to crisp up nicely. Place in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden.
You can serve it with whatever you like. We had it with basmati rice, as the author suggested, but it would also be nice with mashed spiced sweet potato.