MasterChef South Africa: Judge and Chef Andrew Atkinson’s chicken pie

As one of the three judges of MasterChef South Africa, Andrew Atkinson certainly knows his cooking. Each week, he wows contestants and viewers with his revolutionary cooking tips, all of which enhance the flavours of the food he so lovingly prepares. The difference between Chef Andrew and a run-of-the-mill chef is the passion behind every chop, peel and seasoning in Andrew’s process.

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When he is not busy helping amateur cooks fulfil their dreams, Andrew serves as the Executive Chef at the famous Michaelangelo Hotel in Sandton. As any chef worth his spices knows, uncomplicated dishes are some of the best around. Below is Chef Andrew’s recipe for home-style chicken pie – the perfect meal for a cold wintry evening or a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Ingredients:

-          Two large roast chickens

-          One large onion, peeled and sliced

-          One large carrot, peeled and sliced

-          One celery stalk, sliced

-          Two garlic cloves, crushed

-          300 grams of brown shimeji mushrooms

-          Six whole, black peppercorns

-          Four whole cloves

-          1/3 of a cup of canola oil

-          100 grams of softened butter

-          Two litres of water

-          1/3 cup of white wine

-          Three tablespoons of cornflour

-          500 grams of ready-made, thawed puff pastry

-          Three tablespoons of milk

-          One egg, beaten

-          Robertsons Atlantic Sea Salt and Robertsons Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Method:

-          Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

-          Clean the chicken, then remove the skin and meat from the bones. Set the bones aside for later, as they will be used to make the stock.

-          Slice up the chicken meat, as well as the skins and then mix them all together.

-          Heat the oil and fry the bones in it. To this, add the vegetables, cloves, peppercorns and water and bring to the boil.

-          Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 60 to 90 minutes before straining.

-          In a saucepan, melt the butter and then fry the mushrooms in it. Then add the wine and allow it to simmer on a low heat for five minutes. Add the stock to the mixture and then allow it to simmer briefly.

-          Add the cornflour to 1/3 of a cup of cold water and mix it together before adding it to the stock. Stir this all together until it thickens. Remove this mixture from the heat and then add the chicken meat and skins.

-          Set this aside to cool and then pour it over into a pie or casserole dish.

-          Roll the puff pastry out on a floured surface and then over the pie filling with it. Brush the pastry with milk and beaten eggs.

-          Bake the pie for 50 minutes until golden brown.

Serve hot with your favourite green vegetables and enjoy.

 

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