Photo: Chris Wiles Photgraphy
Turkey & Mushroom Pie:
(Could use chicken, but then it would be chicken & mushroom pie…….. I used a mixture, so that was Churkey & Mushroom Pie!)
Prep: 20 mins.
Cooking: 30 mins, plus any cooking of the turkey/chicken
Rating: 3: Moderate
This is a great way to use up Xmas turkey – a good New Year’s recipe. A pie needs a lid. A lid is normally puff pastry. Don’t be put off by that pastry thing, as you can buy chilled, ready-made, ready rolled-up puff pastry. Don’t try making your own because it simply is not worth the time, cost or the effort. Life’s too short to make pastry!
- Pack of ready-made puff-pastry from your supermarket chiller (it may be in a block – or even better, in a rolled-up sheet)
- 500g turkey pieces – could be turkey breast or thigh meat. Alternatively, use chicken thighs. If the meat is uncooked, cook it before putting it in the pie – see the method.
- Onion or two
- Can of Bachelors/Campbell’s condensed cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
- If you can cadge ‘em from somewhere, a dozen capers (optional, but they do make it nicer…. Make it two dozen)
- 500g mushrooms
- Egg or milk as a surface wash for the pastry
- Rolling pin (see Tricks’n’Tips for how to roll out pastry, and how to use a lemonade bottle instead of a rolling pin – not necessary if you use rolled-up pastry!)
- Oven dish
- Frying pan
- If the turkey/chicken is not already cooked, oven-cook (180 C) it under foil or a lid in a little oil and tablespoon of seasoned water for 40-50 mins.
- Cool and remove the meat from the bones (see Tricks’n’Tips for the best way to remove the meat from a turkey drumstick).
- Heat a little oil in the frying pan and add coarsely chopped onion then the cooked meat, the contents of the soup can (remember to rinse it out using a very tiny amount of water and pop that in too) and the capers (squashed with a fork) as well.
- Wipe the mushrooms if dirty, then slice them and pop them into the meat mixture. Mix it all up. (Never wash mushrooms)
- Season to taste. Pour it all into the oven dish.
How to deal with a block of ready-made pastry:
- Firstly, clean the surface on which you intend to do your rolling-out. Remember that you are going to eat the stuff that you are about to spread and slide all over this surface, so make the surface really clean – and remember, also, that you don’t want to taste the cleaner you’ve used either – so make sure it’s dried well too. You could use a plastic pastry rolling-out sheet if you had one. Don’t worry, the cleaned surface is fine.
- Sprinkle a little flour onto the beautifully cleaned, now dry surface that you intend to roll out onto, place the block of read-made pastry in the centre, sprinkling a little more flour on top.
- Use a rolling pin (or a lemonade bottle devoid of label, glue and muck; shaken up to full pressure so that it is hard – we used to use a milk bottle years ago) to exert a light pressure on the pastry as it rolls over. This will make it expand away from you.
- Lift the pastry, turn it though 90 degrees and turn it over and roll again. This will roll it out the other way, again away from you, ensuring that the rolling out is even. Lift, turn, turn over again, sprinkle more flour and carry on doing this until the pastry is about 8mm thick. It should be far larger than your oven dish by now – don’t worry about it.
- Put the rolling pin on the pastry and roll it all up ONTO the rolling pin to transport it to the oven dish – and unroll it into position.
Of course, if you have bought ready rolled-out pastry in a roll, all of the above has already been done for you!
- Use a knife to slice the excess pastry from around the edges of the oven dish and roll the excess into a ball.
(The excess pastry can be pressed into a ball, wrapped in cling film and popped into the freezer, ready for use in something else later).
- Press a fork lightly all around the edges, sealing the lid to the side of the oven dish. CAUTION!….The contents will heat up and cause pressure to rise in the dish, so use the knife or scissors to cut or snip a couple of air vents in the pastry.
- Either milk-wash the surface of the puff-pastry using a pastry brush if you have one (use a clean finger if you have not) or beat an egg in a mug and wash with that. Milk costs less but doesn’t look quite so good.
- Put the oven dish on an oven tray to catch the overspill (saves cleaning the oven).
- Oven bake for 30 mins around gas Mk 5 or until the lid looks good enough to eat – ‘cos it is.
- Serve with whatever you fancy – it suits spuds and veg to my mind. If you want to have it with flied lice, it’s your choice!