My grandparents who I was very close to always used to say, waste not want not. They both experienced the shortage of food, under the war and also the shortage of other necessities in those years. My grandad especially hated food waste, he remembered the depression and people queuing for food. My grandma was more off a practical cook instead of an experimental cook. She often cooked the same things. But what she cooked, she cooked really well, especially her biscuits.
However, it never occurred to me how much the things my grandparents used to say to me as a child has actually stuck with me. I hate waste, I hate throwing good food out. Also, I use my nose and my eyes to judge whether food is still ok to eat. I think a lot of people have become way too reliant on the best before and use by date. I rarely stick to that, except when it comes to mussels and other sea food like that. But only because I once became really ill eating sea food that was well out off date, a friend cooked it for me… and ohh we were sick…
It’s a good thing I’m not too bothered about the dates, as I now tend to pop to my local shop in the evenings. Often, I pick up amazing offers at either 7pm when it’s 75% off the price and 9pm where its 90% of the price or 10p each item. The Other day I picked up lots of reduced Chicken… Drumsticks and whole chickens for 10p each!! I made a roast chicken not long ago for friends, I kept the carcasses and stripped off any meat we didn’t eat. I also stripped some meat of drumsticks that we didn’t get through. I have been keeping it all in the freezer.
This week Flipper has been poorly with tonsillitis and double-sided ear-infection and as he was relaxing, I spend all of Tuesday cooking, he loves being around whilst I cook. I made a lovely chicken soup on the carcasses and with the leftover meat (see my previous blog) and I made this chicken pie containing reduced mushrooms, leek, bacon and the leftover chicken together with a bit of the soup to make a yummy filling. I also had puff pastry, just the basic ready-made stuff from the super market. That’s one thing I can’t be bothered to make from scratch I must admit.
Blip really enjoyed the food, Flipper tried it, but with his hurting throat and ears he really wasn’t too interested. Luckily, he finally seems to be recovering.
I served the pie with green trees (broccoli) and yellow tree trunks (baby corns) which I had found reduced as well. Blip won’t eat them if I call it broccoli and baby corns. We also had potatoes on the side.
Serves 4 – 6 people
1 packet puff pastry
Leftover meat from chicken (approximately 400g)
4 rashers of streaky bacon (or cooking bacon)
250 g closed cup mushrooms
1 garlic clove, grated
½ teaspoon nutmeg
250ml chicken stock (or leftover soup)
100 g cream cheese
100 g Greek yoghurt
1tbsp plain flour
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp oil
- Take the puff pastry out of the fridge and leave out for about 10 to 15 minutes before using. Clean the leeks thoroughly then cut them into 1 cm discs, set aside.
- Clean and quarter the mushrooms and put aside.
- Make sure the chicken is made into small pieces and all deboned.
- Chop the bacon into small squares.
- Now line the pie tray with 2/3 of the puff pastry, reserving the rest for the lid, ( I use a non stick tray so its not necessary to grease it first). Place thelined pie tray in the fridge until it needs using.
- If cooking the pie straight away, turn the oven on now to 180C (fan oven) or 200C traditional oven.
- Add the oil to a frying pan and fry the bacon on a medium heat until crispy and then set the bacon aside.
- In the fat from the bacon add the mushrooms, garlic, leeks and saute until the leeks has softened. Then add the chicken and stir.
- Now add in the yoghurt, cream cheese, nutmeg and 200 ml of chicken stock mix it well and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Whilst the mixture is simmering, add the flour to the remainder of the chicken stock and mix it until it forms a paste.
- Now add the flour mixture to the filling, mix and simmer for another 1-2 minutes, the mixture should have thickened up. Taste the mixture and season accordingly with salt and pepper.
- Add the filling to the Pie tray and place the remaining pastry on top so it forms a lid. You can decorate it with any of cut pastry if you wish. Ensure you make 1 or 2 holes in the pastry so steam can escape.
- Place in the warm oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is nice golden and flaky.
- Serve with vegetables of your choice and potato bits.
Bon Appetite as my grandad would have said.
These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per March 2019).
– This time costings are harder as I’m using a leftover chicken. However, I have calculated it on ½ a leftover medium chicken from Tesco 1.3-1.5 kg.
Puff pastry £1.30
Leek (£1.50/3)x1 =50p
Bacon (£1.25/14)x4 = 36p
Garlic clove 3p
Chicken stock (or leftover soup) (50p/10)x1 =5p
Cream cheese (49p/200g)x100g = 25p
Greek yoghurt (85p/500g)x100g =17p
Plain flour (45p/1500g)x 10g = 3p
Salt and pepper 2p
Oil (£3.50/5000ml)x15ml =1p
Total cost £5.04 – Per Portion (£5.04/6)= 84p