Pies are super family friendly, economical and popular with adults and children alike. There's something about a home-made pie that goes straight to the heart. Here are a couple of our favourites and you can make these ones gluten-free by substituting with suitable flour alternatives.
EASY POTATO TOP CHICKEN PIE
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ cup plain flour
salt and pepper
butter and olive oil
2 chorizo sausages, sliced
1 large onion
2 stalks of celery
2 small carrots, diced
1 leek, white part washed and sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic
zest of a lemon
1 Tbsp chopped thyme
2 tsp smoked paprika
½ cup orange or pomegranate juice, or white wine
1 ½ cups of chicken stock
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 ½ cups mashing potatoes, peeled
⅓ cup of cream, crushed garlic, butter, 2 spring onions, parsley and seasoning
Chop up the chicken thighs into pieces, pat dry and coat in flour, shaking off the excess. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a large knob of butter and tsp of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken quickly in batches over medium to high heat until golden on all sides. Transfer to a plate.
Add a little more olive oil to the pan and the onion, celery, carrot, leek, garlic, lemon zest, chorizo sausage, thyme and smoked paprika. Sauté to coat evenly with the oils and seasonings and cover on medium heat for a couple of minutes, adding a splash of juice or wine if the pan is dry. Turn up the heat and add the wine (if using) allowing it to boil off for a couple of minutes first then add the remaining liquids. Return the chicken with any juices on the plate. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Scatter over the chopped parsley. You can serve this on rice as it is or allow to cool if you are making a pie.
Place the cooled chicken mixture in a deep baking dish.
Cut the potatoes into chunks and cook in boiling salted water for 15 minutes and until tender. Drain and return to the pot, place over low heat to cook off remaining moisture. Mash roughly then stir in a good knob of butter, the cream, salt, freshly ground pepper, crushed garlic and finely sliced spring onions and parsley. Cover the chicken with the potato, roughing it up with a fork.
You can leave it at this point - cover with foil with instructions how to heat. It can be frozen too.
To cook, simply preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Drizzle the pie with a little melted butter and bake for 30-40 minutes until the potato topping is golden and the filling is hot and bubbling.
POTATO & PLOUGHMAN'S PICKLE SELF-CRUSTING QUICHE
2 large onions
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 chorizo sausages
4 large eggs
1 cup of milk
½ self raising flour
3 cooked potatoes, diced
2 bunches of spinach, wilted, squeezed dry in a tea towel and chopped
3 Tbsp piccalilli or chutney
1 ½ cups grated tasty cheese
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Sauté butter, finely sliced onions and crushed garlic with sliced chorizo. Allow to cool. Grease a rectangular baking dish and preheat oven to 210 degrees.
Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl together with the flour and milk until smooth without lumps. Mix in the remaining ingredients except the tomatoes and pour into the prepared dish. Lay slices of tomato over the top and bake for 25-30 minutes.
For a vegetarian option, omit the chorizo. The spinach can be substituted with 2 cups of button mushrooms halved. Crumbled feta is also a nice addition. This pie reheats beautifully.
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