Today has been a day of frustration. Since yesterday afternoon, I have spent about 7 hours pinning and hemming a dress which still isn’t finished, and have consequently done very little else. I needed some comfort food, and that’s just what I made.
I bought a cheap cooked chicken yesterday, which was good for very little because it was so dried out! But in these pasties the meat is enveloped in thick, creamy sauce so it doesn’t matter so much. The meat almost disintegrated into tiny strips, which it probably wouldn’t have done if it was more moist. I used this Jamie Oliver recipe for leftover turkey, changing a couple of bits. I didn’t have any leeks, which was a shame as I love leeks. But as I had plenty of other veg to have with it I don’t think it really mattered. I had gammon and ham stock in the freezer from when I made quiche and leftover chestnuts from the venison stew were also put to good use. As I had enough pastry and filling to make 4 pasties, I froze the other two in separate freezer bags for another day.
Chicken and Ham Pasties
Leftover roast chicken, cut into chunks
Gammon or bacon, cut into chunks
Olive oil and butter
Good quality stock
Chestnuts, crumbled into small pieces
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan until the butter has melted and fry the gammon or bacon for a few minutes until cooked and starting to brown. Add the chicken and stir well.
- Add a lot of flour to the pan and stir well until all of the moisture has been soaked up. Add milk to the roux a little at a time until you have a thick sauce. Add stock and milk as required to create a thick gravy.
- Drain the chicken-ham mix in a colander so that there is only a small amount of gravy on the meat. Stir freshly ground black pepper through the meat and set aside. If you are making the pasties in advance, allow this to cool completely before continuing.
- Roll the pastry out on a well-floured surface until very thin. Sprinkle one half of it with sage and chestnuts, fold the other half of the pastry over and roll it again gently. Cut the pastry into squares.
- Spoon the mixture evenly over one-half of each of the pastry squares, leaving a gap at the edge of each. Brush the edge with beaten egg, fold the pastry over and seal. Transfer (gently!) to a baking tray and brush the top with beaten egg.
- Bake at 180OC/350OF/Gas mark 4 until the pastry is cooked through and golden brown. Reheat the gravy which was set aside, and serve with your favourite veg. We had new potatoes, Roasted marrow and baby carrots.