The Whole Bird Revisited – Mini Pies To Feed An Army

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It may appear that I’ve abandoned the kitchen. I promise I haven’t, though it’s been too long since I last posted. It’s been crazy busy here lately, not least because I’ve had a bit of work, and we’ve celebrated 3 birthdays in 3 weeks in our house. Anyway, enough of the old “dog ate my homework routine”…I’m back.

If you read my post ‘The whole bird! Getting the most from your Roast.’ where I made one large roast chicken feed the 6 of us for 3 meals, you will have seen my suggestions for meals to make with the leftovers, all based around one simple recipe. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do that, then come back to this post, so that you know what I’m on about. To make these mini pies I used a variation of the basic leftover chicken (meal #2) recipe.

I had found a nifty little Pampered Chef pie cutter in the bric-a-brac section of a good little charity shop I know pretty well (named K4), and wanted to try it out. Because even though I suggest making a pie with the leftovers, I’d never actually tried it myself…so I thought I’d take my own advice. The pies you can see in the picture above are made with my new gadget, but you could just as easily use a mug or large circular cookie cutter.

Saute an onion, then add Thyme, Condensed Mushroom Soup, and a couple of good sploshes of milk. Bring this to the boil then add some gravy granuals, disolved in a little boiling water; Add some steamed carrots and green beans, and some sweetcorn; Simmer for a few minutes, adding a bit more milk if it’s too thick, then set aside to cool; Chop your leftover cooked chicken breast and leg, and stir in when the mixture is quite cool. Season to taste.

Divide a portion of Shortcrust pastry in two, and roll out one half on a floured surface, (I used the recipe in the ‘Bake Off’ book, but you could use ready-made if needs be); mark out lots of circles with a large cookie cutter or mug; dollop some chicken mixture in the centre of each circle; brush the edge of each circle with beaten egg; lay another sheet of shortcrust over the top, and carefully cut out the circles, using the mounds of mixture as guides for the centre of each pie; Seal the edges by pushing them together with the prongs of a fork. brush each pie with the beaten egg, and bake at 190 until golden and piping hot.

I was amazed at how many mini pies I was able to get out of this mixture. I think there were about ten in total, plus a giant pasty that I made for fun (just make a bigger circle, fold in half over the mixture and crimp the edges). But I still had about half the filling left, so with more pastry I could have made about 2 dozen pies, with 2 pies per person (or 3….or 4).

These are great for dinner with potatoes, but could also be used for lunchboxes, picnics or snacks. Enjoy x

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