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Chicken and Sweetcorn Pie

Chicken pot pie

See also: Chicken Coulibiac

Ingredients:
One chicken
onion, carrot, celery, parsley
2 tbsp flour
2 oz. butter
one cup milk
sweet corn (fresh, frozen, or canned)
celery seeds (optional)
puff pastry

Include the parsley stalks for flavour and onion skins for colour. If using canned sweet corn, strain the liquid from the can into the stock, before reducing.

Remove the fat from inside the cavity. Rinse the chicken; pack it and the stock vegetables—some can go in the cavity—in a close-fitting pot; cover with boiling water. Simmer gently for 30 minutes on the hob or in the oven (300 °F 150 °C). Remove the chicken to a platter. Remove and discard the vegetables. Carve the bird, to give 2 wings, 2 legs, 2 thighs, wishbone, 2 oysters (these are the best meat on a chicken—tender nuggets sitting in little pockets in the bird's pelvis, on either side of the backbone), and whatever further succulent scaps of meat you can pick from the carcass. Remove the skin from the meat and the meat from the bones. Cut the meat into bite-sized chunks, put these in your pie dish, and keep them aside in a cool place. Add any juices to your stock, and let it gently reduce while you carry on. Put the carcass and skin in a pressure cooker with two cups of water and cook at pressure for 30 minutes or more. Strain the liquid from the pressure cooker into the stock. Let it settle. Remove the fat, using a separating jug, or otherwise. Reduce the stock over a medium flame until you have only one cup of liquid. Add the milk.

If using fresh corn, cook it briefly on the cob, in the milk and stock. Then use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the cob. Frozen corn should be cooked briefly in the stock. Canned corn needs no extra cooking.

In a saucepan, make a roux with two tablespoons of flour and butter or chicken fat. Add milk and stock to make a thick, smooth gravy. Add sweet corn and, if you like, a couple of pinches of celery seeds—they go well with the corn.

Serve with boiled potatoes and peas.

Add corn and gravy to the chicken in your pie dish. Heat in microwave or oven until the filling is piping hot. Cover with rolled puff-pastry, and place in a hot oven (450 °F 220 °C). Reduce heat to moderate (375 °F 180 °C), and cook for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.

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