I remember watching Nigella Lawson making a Chicken Pot Pie in one of her shows and she used chicken stock concentrate and it’s an ingredient that I’ve never tried before. But thanks to the lovely team over at Essential Cuisine, I am finally able to use chicken stock concentrate, 10 years after watching Nigella make her chicken pot pie.
This week (5th March – 11th March) is British Pie Week 2018. It is estimated that 75% of us enjoy a pie at least once a month and I am one of them! This Chicken and Chorizo Pot Pie is incredibly hearty, warming and comforting. Chunks of chorizo are pan-fried with celery, diced chicken, frozen vegetables and spinach and coated in a white sauce made in the same pan to not waste any of the flavour. The sauce is finished with the Essential Cuisine Chicken Stock Concentrate for extra flavour and deepness.
The chicken stock concentrate comes in a small squeezy bottle which makes it so easy to use and to store in the fridge. This 150g bottle is enough to make 4L of chicken stock according to the instructions on the bottle. It would be perfect for soups, stews and sauces, as I did for this Chicken Pot Pie. Essential Cuisine stocks do not use any preservatives or MSG and are gluten free. You can find their website by clicking here. Essential Cuisine products can be found in Lakeland and Booths Supermarket as well as many high end butchers, farm shops and delis – or online at this site!
The pie dish I used was a 20cm oblong enamel pie dish which I found to be the perfect size for me. I also use puff pastry (ready rolled for convenience) to top this pie. I cut two thin strips of pastry, brush with milk and place around the rim, brush again with milk which helps to stick the pastry lid down. I decorate the pie with some simple fork crimping to help seal the join between the pastry rim and the lid. I finish with another brush of milk to give the pastry a rich golden colour once baked.
The filling for the pie can be made a day in advance, which is the method I detail below. Cover it well with clingfilm and then cover with pastry when you want to bake it. Alternatively you can assemble the pie completely without piercing holes in the lid and the final brushing of milk and freeze the pie for another time. Make sure it is wrapped well in foil and clingfilm to prevent freezer burn and prepare to bake it for much longer than stated below (or defrost in the fridge overnight).
- 30g spicy chorizo sausage, diced
- ½ stick of celery, finely diced
- 1 medium chicken breast, cut into small chunks
- 40g frozen peas
- 40g frozen sweetcorn
- Large handful of spinach, washed and torn up into pieces
- 1 tbsp sunflower spread
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tsp Essential Cuisine Chicken Stock Concentrate
- 150ml – 250ml whole milk
- ½ a pack of ready rolled puff pastry
- Milk or egg, to brush
In a dry frying pan over a medium heat, cook the chorizo cubes until the oil begins to render out. Add in the diced celery and continue to cook until the chorizo looks crispy. Add in the chicken and season with some salt and pepper.
Once the chicken has began to cook, add in the frozen peas and sweetcorn, stir and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the chicken is cooked through, checking by slicing open the largest piece. Add in the torn spinach leaves. Once wilted, adjust the seasoning to taste. Place into a bowl and set aside.
Add the sunflower spread to the frying pan. Once melted, add the plain flour and whisk until it forms a thick brown paste – this is the roux. Over the heat, add the milk in slowly, whisking between each addition until the milk has been incorporated and to prevent lumps forming. Continue to add enough milk until it forms a sauce which has a coating consistency and is thick; imagine pouring on a chicken breast and it doesn’t run off completely. Add in the chicken stock concentrate and adjust the season to taste.
Pour the cooked chicken mixture back into the pan and mix with the white sauce to coat. Place into a 20cm enamel pie dish and level off the top. Leave to cool at room temperature for an hour before covering with clingfilm and refrigerating overnight.
When you are ready to assemble the pie, preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cut two thin strips of the puff pastry. Brush the rim of the pie dish with milk and stick the pastry strips down. Next cut out a rectangle of pastry big enough to cover the pie with at least 1 inch excess. Brush the strips with milk again and cover the pie with the pastry lid, pressing down onto the top of the filling and taking the shape of the dish.
Use a knife to trim away the excess, working in a downward diagonal motion against the side of the dish. Press a fork all the way around the edge of the pie to crimp the pie. Add some pastry decorations (I chose to have ‘PIE’ on top of mine) and make 4 incisions to allow steam to escape. Brush the pastry with milk.
Bake the pie for around 20 – 25 minutes until the pastry is risen, golden brown and crispy. Serve the pie on its own or alongside some vegetable sides.
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