..and when the pie was opened

…I’m pleased to say that the birds did not begin to sing. Keeping five and twenty blackbirds alive, under pastry, in a hot oven would be enough of a challenge to convince Hercules that cleaning the Augean stables with his tongue would be infinitely preferable to cooking such a dish, the opening of which would be similar to lifting the lid of Pandora’s lunch box. My mind is suddenly filled with a vision of Greg Wallace ( Master Chef presenter for foreign readers – total tosser for English readers ) trying to  summon up one of his pithy food critiques, along the lines of the nigh infinitely repeated “Cooking doesn’t get harder than this”, with cheeks bulging, eyes wildly staring and a mouth full of burning hot beaks and feathers. My pie was an altogether simpler affair. As to avian content, I must confess that birds were involved, in this case a lone chicken that had lost its beak and feathers along with its life whilst riding the free range prairie. This pie is an adapted version of Jamie’s Christmas dinner” leftover pie”, in which chicken has replaced turkey. Finely chopped celery, carrots and onions were slowly melted in butter with bay leaves and thyme. Flour, milk and seasoning were added to create a creamy sauce into which I dropped the chopped up cooked chicken. In Jamie’s vernacular “Whack on the pastry lid, slam it into the oven at 200C and Robert’s your uncle in around 30 minutes – luvverly”. 


About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in Baking, Chicken, Jamie Oliver, photography course, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to ..and when the pie was opened

  1. Mad Dog says:

    Sounds delicious! I couldn’t agree more regarding your Master Chef comment – Greg and Toad are complete *******s 🙂

  2. “Aha”! that´s what was inside. Wasn´t that a dainty dish….?!

  3. I love the color of your crust, and such a wonderful color contrast to the yummy filling inside.

  4. ChgoJohn says:

    Jamie sometimes gets flack from a certain foul-mouthed UK chef but, in reality, I’ve cooked a number of Jaime’s recipes, all with good result — and not a one of Mr. Mouth. This dish here is a case in point and is something I’m sure to make and enjoy. Thanks for sharing, Roger.

  5. Chef Scar says:

    All I wants is a spoon somewhere!

  6. Such a beautiful photo – you did a great job ‘goldening’ that pie crust 🙂 I also like the antique spoon in the filling to complete the image. Wonderfully rustic.

  7. That looks even better than yesterday….chicken is much nicer than turkey.

  8. ceciliag says:

    I hate turkey too, The thing with pies is that they are better the next day, in fact I might go so far as to say almost everything is better the next day.. well except champagne of course (goes without saying) .. c

  9. Graham says:

    Baking blackbirds in pies, cleaning the Augean stables with his tongue nah! he’d be off to steal the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.

  10. peasepudding says:

    The crust looks beautiful and you can’t go wrong with a Jamie recipe.

  11. gorgeous picture of a luvverly pie. I haven’t made a chicken pie for a long time… I might see to that this week. Thanks for that.

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