food

The secret family recipe that Jo Abi is finally sharing with the world.

Drop everything – you’re going to want to read this.

When I first got married, all the dinners I prepared were my mum’s recipes. Mum is an amazing cook. She makes meals you dream about for days later and look forward to for months.

My attempts at her classic Italian dishes were pretty lame at first but I slowly improved.

But it wasn’t until I started trying out new dishes that I felt like a real cook. Then, I invented my own pie recipe that was absolutely delicious. That’s the moment I felt like I had really nailed this whole cooking thing.

This pie recipe has been my little secret for over a decade but it’s time to share it with the world. If you involve your children in the cooking process they are more likely to try it and then to love it. And nothing looks better on the dinner table than a gigantic, golden brown family pie.

 Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Pampas Pastry. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words. 

Seeing as I invented this recipe I suppose I get naming rights. So let’s go with:

Jo’s Scrumptious Chicken and Vegetable Pie Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

4 sheets Pampas Puff Pastry

500 grams of chicken tenderloin or chicken thighs

1 enormous mushroom or 2 cups of sliced smaller mushrooms

2 rashers of bacon, diced (leave out if desired)

1 sliced medium brown onion

4 tablespoons olive oil

150 grams butter

2 medium sliced potatoes

1 large zucchini, peeled, grated

½ cup white wine

1 tablespoon chicken stock powder

1 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon plain flour

Pepper and fresh parsley optional (my kids don’t like spices or green things so I leave them out, unless I’m cooking for grownups only)

METHOD:

  1. Place Pampas Puff Pastry on the kitchen bench to thaw.
  2. Heat oil in large pot.
  3. Place diced chicken in the pot and start stirring until starting to brown.
  4. Add sliced onion and stir for approximately 2 minutes.
  5. Add diced bacon and stir for 2 minutes again.
  6. Add mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes.
  7. Add thinly sliced potatoes and grated zucchini.
  8. Add wine, chicken stock and salt. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it as you will need to add ½ cup of water if it dries out, but it shouldn’t. Make sure the heat is super low and keep the lid on at all times.
  9. Blend the flour with ¼ cup water until you make a runny paste and stir into the mixture. Simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  10. You need to completely cool this mixture before constructing the pie. You can do this by making the mixture the day before or by spreading it on two flat plates and placing it in the fridge. If you ever have any leftover casserole or stew of any kind, place it in the fridge and make a pie out of it the next day!
  11. Carefully peel the plastic off one sheet of pastry. Place in the pie dish. Add another sheet of pastry directly on top of the original sheet in the pie dish. I always like to do a double layer down the bottom.
  12. If you need extra pastry to cover the dish, slice pastry off an additional slice and gently press onto the original sheets until joined.
  13. Pour in the cooled mixture, keeping it in the centre as much as possible and being careful not to drip.
  14. Use the remaining pastry to completely cover the mixture with a top layer. Using your thumbs, press the pastry into the bottom sheet around the mixture.
  15. Using a sharp knife, trim any of the pastry that is hanging over the sides.
  16. Use a spoon to decorate and bind the edges.
  17. Glaze the top of the pie with milk or beaten egg, using a pastry brush.
  18. Puncture the top of the pie with a knife, being careful not to puncture the bottom layer.
  19. Bake for 40 minutes or until the pastry is flaky and golden brown.
  20. Before serving, let the pie rest for at least 15-20 minutes. This allows the mixture to thicken.
  21. Bring it to the table whole and slice it up. Try and ignore any family members who add tomato sauce to the top of the pie. It really doesn’t need it.

What family recipe will you pass on to your kids?

And this is how it's done ladies and gentleman ...

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Whether you’re still finding your feet in the kitchen or you’re a self-confessed master chef, Pampas’ range of pre-rolled pastry sheets and shells are your blank canvas to create. Be it the humble family pie or pastry wrapped asparagus sticks for entertaining, Pampas provides you an easy way to create something new or simply make something that little bit better; so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying delicious meals with those you love.