When hectic schedule prevails and life gets that much harder, I love to escape into my la la land. With magical landscape and a country house, fully occupied with an Aga and wooden floors. The typical elaborate meals would be served in a rustic kitchen, with the sweet smell of lavender and buttercups in the backyard. Nothing better to sums up the mood than making something extraordinaire..like lattice pies, weaved with love and precision.
Then reality bites. I would still be in my modern kitchen, fully equipped, yes, but there is no sight of Aga or buttercups. In not so recent past, I almost followed my heart's desire and almost purchased an Aga before I realise that it will not be suitable for the house, nor the bill. I would just relent and make my lattice pie anyway because that is what I would do best for right now.
This lattice pie is my pièce de résistance on those wishful days that I hope I am living in a village in South of France, with a bustling household that come around together for a family meal. Everything will be done from scratch. The shortcrust pasty. Beautiful chicken filling spiced up and mushroomy. Hours of preparation will be well worth it with the first bite of crusty, savoury pie.
Hopefully the pictorials would show how easy it is to make the shortcrust pastry..so let's start cooking!
Chicken Stroganoff Lattice Pie
For shortcrust pastry
320g plain flour
150g butter-kept in the fridge
4 tbsp ice cold water
1 egg yolk
For the filling
1 medium sized chicken breast-washed and cubed
1 can of cream of Mushroom soup ( I use Heinz)
1 green onion-diced
1 bell pepper-cubed
juice from 1 lemon
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thymes
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp minced ginger-garlic paste
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp coarse ground pepper
a pinch of salt
1 tsp sugar
Prepare the shortcrust pastry. Put all the flour in a large mixing bowl. Rub in the cubed cold butter until crumbs are formed, add in the cold water and egg yolk and knead until it forms a dough. The dough should not stick to the bowl. Wrap the dough in a clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 1 hour whilst the filling is prepared.
Prepare the filling.
1. Heat the olive oil in a wok. Add in the diced onions, ginger-garlic. Fry until they are fragrant and golden. Add in the chicken cubes and fry for few more minutes.
2. Mix all the ground spices with few spoonful of water to form a paste and add into the wok. Well coat the chicken with the spices. Add the bay leaves, thymes and oregano at this point. Add the tomato, diced pepper, lemon juice and mushroom soup. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
3. Season with sugar and salt. Now the filling is ready.
Assembling the lattice pie
Tke out the pastry dough from the refrigerator and divide into 2 balls. Place one ball in between 2 cling film or parchment paper to ease rolling. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle shape with 1 inch thickness, befitting your preferred pie pan. The rolled dough should cover the bottom and the edge of your pan. Pierce the dough with fork all over.
Pour the baking beans on top and bake the pastry for 20 minutes at 170C.
Remove the beans and bake it for another 5 minutes. Let the pastry cool a bit before adding the filling.
Serve warm with salad as accompaniment. Bon appetit!
Sending this recipe to Jabeen's Iftar Nights and Lubna's Joy from Fasting to Feasting.