Thursday, 27 December 2007

Chicken pie (Κοτόπιτα)

Here's something to do with your leftovers: I used Yianna's chicken, but most people these days would be using leftover Christmas turkey. I decided to use the recipe for chicken pie from a website called cooking for engineers, although most of the recipes I browsed through over the net had little to differentiate them from others in any case. I chose this one because it had very clear instructions (which I suspect means that it was written by a scientifically-minded male logician who loves to dabble in food). He (surely it isn't a woman) also includes a biscuit dough recipe for the topping, which you can access via a link on his (Michael's) page; I didn't use this myself for reasons I will explain below.

I also made a few Mediterranean adjustments which made this chicken pie more suitable for our eating habits and climate. The chicken in the recipe was creamed, using chicken broth, butter and milk. I used olive oil wherever the recipe stated butter, and I did not cream the chicken, but left it a little drier than in a traditional chicken pie. I felt it would be too stodgy, since the leftover chicken I was given was a fatty free-range one, meaning it wasn't light in lipids to start with, let alone my adding to it. I also added corn to the vegetables to use up the remnants of a tin I had opened a couple of days ago. I think that the next time I make it, I will use mushrooms and/or leek, because of the affinity of their taste combined with chicken. As I had some traditional (albeit shop-bought) pastry leftover from the last batch of kalitsounia, I used that instead of the biscuit dough both as a base and a topping. I brushed it with egg on the top, and sprinkled it with sesame, they way we usually top our pie pastries in Crete, which is how it got its delicious golden crust.

This is the first time I have made chicken pie. My favorite part about it was that I used up high quality expensive leftover food that would probably have been turned into Aka's dogfood. It shows how we can use up leftovers - chicken/turkey, tinned corn, pastry - and learn to "waste not, wont not" in the horrendously globalised over-consumptive world that we are living in today. I'm not trying to save the world, I'm just making an individual conscious effort.

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Pizza without yeast
Pizza carbonara
Cottage pie
Leek pie
Sfakianes pites
Spiral pie

Free-range chicken
Roast chicken
Chicken curry
Stir-fry noodles
Sunday roast