about a bird

I heard that canaries usually live for around 10 years. So, when I found our wee brown & gold canary, Broon, lying stiff on the bottom of the cage the other day, I was quite shocked (she hadn’t even celebrated her third birthday). There were a few tears shed, followed by an intimate burial between the cherry blossom trees. I was instructed by the real bird lover in the house that a new bird had to be purchased pronto.

May I proudly introduce the newest yet-to-be-named* member to the SS aviary:

*suggestions welcome for a name for this reckless, black-and-white headed, yellow-bodied canary.

In keeping with the birdy week I’ve had, I decided that tonight’s dinner had better be chicken pie. The pie will be enjoyed in memory of the late Broon.

I’m sure that everyone has a chicken pie recipe that their mum/dad/aunty/neighbour used to make, and is the best recipe around. I’m not claiming that this pie is the fanciest going, but it sure ticks all the boxes: creamy, chickeny, hint of veg and flaky puff pastry.

Start by using the chicken pieces of your choice (about 750g) – leftover roast chook, thigh or breast. If your meat is uncooked, throw it in a bowl with some plain flour, cayenne pepper and salt and toss around until it’s lightly coated. Brown the chicken in a saucepan with a bit (or a lot) of butter and a splash of oil. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, saute a finely chopped onion, 2 sliced cloves garlic, 1/2 a medium fennel sliced thinly, and a carrot chopped in 1cm bits until golden (about 10 minutes). Return chook to pan with a handful of fresh/frozen peas, 200ml chicken stock (homemade is best) and 1/2 cup cream or creme fraiche. Stir, then simmer for about 10 minutes or until sauce has slightly thickened. Season to taste (and add some finely chopped fresh herbs if you wish)..(and even a bit of finely grated lemon rind).

When the chicken mixture has cooled down, pour into a pie dish, or, like i did, line some texas muffin tins with puff pastry and then spoon in the mixture. Cut out a pastry top for your dish or muffin tins and seal with the tines of a fork or your fingers. Give a quick brush with some egg wash and decorate if you feel that way inclined (I think pastry polka dots would look very sweet). Bake in a 200C oven for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

I ate mine from the tin (tut tut), but may I suggest you serve it with a leafy green salad and a big glass of white wine.

Make sure that when you eat your pie, you spare a thought for wee Broon. RIP.


2 Responses to “about a bird”

  1. Toia Says:

    hahha he looks like he has a little toupe on! mmm what about …. toups?

  2. Mareena Says:

    Hi Sarah

    Going to try the Chicken Pie for Dinner on Sunday, will let you know how it goes. All the best for the Cafe, Rod and I can’t wait to purchase your wares.

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