I love good food, good tasty food so my love of cooking developed naturally, much to my friends' delight. They would, however, ask me how I do it. They viewed cooking a tasty meal as a mountain to conquer when it doesn't have to be. No one should feel intimidated to cook and that's why I decided to share this:)
I chose this recipe because if there is one way into anyone's heart (including yours) it is chicken pesto and what's better than chicken pesto than having it inside a pie. Join me on this adventure as you make dough, pesto from scratch and have your tastebuds singing:)
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Step 1: Tools and Ingredients
- Baking tray
- Rectangular or circular ovenproof pie dish (I chose rectangular for this one)
- Sharp cutting knife
- Cutting board
- Food processor
- Frying pan or shallow pot
- Bowls (1 for the dough, 1 for the egg)
- Food brush (optional as you could get creative on spreading egg on top of your pastry at the end:))
- Cling film
- Rolling pin
- Shortcrust pastry:
- 250g flour
- 100g butter (cold not melted)
- 1/2 cup fridge cold water
- Pinch of salt
- Basil pesto:
- 4 cups of basil
- Olive oil
- 2 tsp garlic (crushed)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 pepper
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 4 cups of small tomatoes (sometimes called rosa or cocktail tomatoes)
- Died mixed herbs or oregano (optional)
- 1 onion (red or white)
- 2 sticks of leeks
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 egg (to brush at the end)
- Baking spray
Note: The pastry recipe makes enough to have a top and bottom of the pie, if you want just a top then you can halve the quantities.
Also, the pesto quantities make enough for leftover because, well, more pesto for later or another dish...or eating:P
Step 2: Making the Dough
But first, set the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, we will need it to roast those tomatoes:)
- On your cutting board, roughly cut your butter into cubes (makes it easier to work with) and place in a bowl with the flour and the pinch of salt.
- Next, use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour (the movement is like rubbing your fingers together) until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Next, pour the water into the bowl and mix with a spoon (or hands if you like). If the mixture is too wet, add a bit of flour and knead slightly until the dough is firm and can be rolled into a ball without sticking to you.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for later.
Step 3: Roasting the Tomatoes
- Once the oven is ready, pour a glug of olive oil on a baking tray and rub to cover the base of the tray.
- Place the tomatoes on the tray and space them out, add salt, pepper, dried mixed herb and a drizzle of more olive oil.
- Put the tray in the oven and allow to cook for approximately 15 minutes.
Step 4: Onion, Leeks and Chicken Mix
- While your tomatoes are happily cooking away, place your frying pan or shallow pot on the stove on a medium heat with a glug of olive oil in it.
- On your cutting board, roughly chop your onion and leeks and add it to your pan or pot and cook for a few minutes until soft.
- Cut the chicken breasts into rough cubes, add to the onion and leek mixture and cook through.
Once this mixture is cooked, turn off the stove and set it aside.
Step 5: Making the Pesto
Check on your tomatoes, the skin should be wrinkled and they will look soft then you know they are ready so take out the tray and set aside.
- First, grate the cheese, you can put it in a cup to see how much you have (and have a few nibbles:))
- Break the stems off of the basil and put the leaves into your food processor
- Add the cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and a good glug of olive oil
- Close the lid and pulse a few times. Some processors have an opening at the top where you can add olive oil while its pulsing but some don't like mine. If you have the opening, add the olive oil while it is pulsing or stop the processor add the oil and pulse again until the mixture is smooth
Voila! Basil pesto:)
Step 6: Bringing It All Together
- Put the tomatoes and about 3 tbsp of your pesto into the chicken mix and combine
- Taste and season with more salt if necessary
Step 7: Assemble the Pie
- Spray your pie dish with baking spray
- Get the dough from the fridge and cut into two equal pieces
- Working with one piece at a time, knead the dough slightly on a floured surface and roll it out using the rolling pin until it is between 3 to 5mm thickness
- Lay the first dough sheet in the pie dish and press to mould it up the sides (do not let it go over the edges of the dish)
- Spoon your chicken pesto mix into the dish and smooth it out until it is evenly distributed
- Place the second dough sheet on top and again mould the edges (if there is any excess dough going over the edges, cut these and you can make a design on the top like I did:))
- Break your egg into a bowl and mix together so the white and yolk are combined
- Using your food brush, brush the egg mixture on top of the second dough sheet until it is all covered
- Place the pie into the oven and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until pastry is golden brown
Step 8: Enjoy:)
This recipe serves 4 to 5 people depending on how much you are willing to share:P Enjoyed most with your friends and family that will adore you;)
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