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While making this freeform chicken tart, I share a few fun tricks: flavoured pastry (mustard, mmm), shredded chicken (Thermo-genius), and a simple technique for creating a pastry lattice. I also let you into my love affair with buttered leeks – could they be the key to happiness?
I love serving this tart with a simple green salad, maybe with rocket or butter lettuce. It’s picnic-friendly too!
Serves: 2-4 as a main, 4 as a light lunch
Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- 200 grams flour
- ½ lemon, zest only, no white pith, peeled in strips
- pinch salt
- 90 grams butter, in 2 cm cubes
- 1 tablespoon hot mustard
- 40 grams cold water
- 400 grams chicken thighs, skinless, cut into four pieces
- 50 grams butter
- 120 grams leek, white and light green part only, well washed, sliced into thin rounds
- 100 grams peas, frozen or fresh
- 1 teaspoon curry powder, optional
- 4 sprigs thyme, leaves only
- flaked salt, to taste
- ground pepper, to taste
- 1 egg
1. Weigh flour, zest and salt into mixing bowl and blitz for 6 sec/speed 8.
2. Add butter and mustard and mix for 5 sec/speed 5 until a breadcrumb consistency is achieved.
3. Set to knead for 30 sec/Knead. While kneading, pour cold water onto lid and continue kneading until mixture comes together. Turn onto a silicone mat or clingflim and rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
4. Without washing mixing bowl, weigh in 600 grams water. Arrange chicken in Varoma and set Varoma in place. Steam for 16 min/Varoma/speed 2.
5. Remove chicken, discard water from mixing bowl and insert butterfly whisk. Place chicken into mixing bowl and shred for 5 sec/Reverse/speed 4. Set aside in a bowl. Clean and dry mixing bowl.
6. Place butter and leek into mixing bowl. Cook for 9 min/100°C/speed spoon.
7. Add peas, curry powder (optional) and thyme. Cook for 2 min/100°C/Reverse/speed 1.
8. Add leek mixture to chicken and gently stir with a spoon or spatula to mix. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired.
9. Preheat oven to 170°C. Divide pastry into one-quarter and three-quarters. Roll out larger portion into a large circle, about 5mm thick, and top with filling. (Ideally, your filling is cool at this point but it’s possible to live on the edge – see the video!) Roll smaller pastry piece to about 5mm thick and cut into strips. Decorate pie with lattice and crimp edges to make a border.
10. Lightly beat egg and brush pastry with egg. Place in oven and bake (170°C) for 25 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown.
Allow to cool a little before cutting into slices. Eat as is or do as I do and serve with a green salad.
- Use any available greens in place of peas, eg. asparagus, broccolini, spinach.
- Use cayenne pepper or paprika instead of curry powder.
- Use any herb of choice in place of thyme; try oregano, parsley or mint.
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