“As it should be, my mother, Inez Espost’s chicken pie, is the best I have ever tasted. I can hardly remember a Sunday lunch, birthday, Christmas, christening of family gathering where her chicken pie was not one of the big talking points around the table. ”
Mom Inez’s chicken pie
- 1 whole chicken
- 5 cloves
- 3 allspice (all-spice)
- 5 coriander seeds
- 5 peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- pinch salt
- 30 ml (2 tbsp.) brown vinegar
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 500 ml (2 c) water
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) butter
- 30 ml (2 tbsp.) plain flour
- 2 packages (400 g each) puff pastry
1 Put the chicken in a large saucepan. Add the spices and bay leaves and season with salt. Add the vinegar, onion, carrots and water.
2 Let the chicken cook gently, you should barely be able to hear it simmer. The chicken will announce when she is ready – that’s when the meat falls off the bones after about an hour or even more. Take the meat apart and remove pieces of bone and carcass. Remove the cloves.
3 Pour the stock through a sieve into the pan to remove the grains and spices. Remove onion and pieces of carrot and add to the shredded chicken.
4 Melt the butter in the saucepan. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Add 1½ c of the chicken stock. Cook for 3 minutes. Add to the chicken.
5 Roll the dough out. It should be a few centimeters larger than the bowl. Line the bowl with it. Cut an extra strip of dough and place around the perimeter – paint the bottom with a little cold water to help it stick. Spoon the chicken filling in and cover with rolled out dough.
6 You can decorate the edge and top layer with your own creativity. My Grandma made leaves and daisy patterns.
7 Prick a few holes in the dough to help the steam escape. Paint the dough with egg (1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp. water)
8 Bake for 15 minutes at 200 ° C to cook the dough and then turn down to 180 ° C for another 20 minutes until cooked and golden brown. A pale chicken pie is a raw chicken pie.
– As told by Errieda du Toit