Ina quotes Marcus Valerius Martialis, Roman poet and father of the epigram, who said, “He lives doubly who also enjoys the past,” when talking of her Old Fashioned Chicken Pie. She suggests making the pastry the day before and refrigerating overnight. It improves with chilling. The filling is also better cooked the day before.
Old Fashioned Chicken Pie
You will need
1 large free range chicken
1 T (15 ml) Ina Paarman’s Chicken Spice
2 x 25 g Ina Paarman’s Liquid Chicken Stock
2 cups (500 ml) hot water
1 large onion, cut into ⅛’s
½ cup (125 ml) dry white wine
2 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
10 black peppercorns
2 T (30 ml) sago
1 T (15 ml) butter
1 egg yolk (reserve the white)
juice of ½ lemon
2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
1 t (5 ml) Ina Paarman’s Seasoned Sea Salt
100 g – 125 g cooked ham, cut into ribbons (optional)
Season the chicken generously inside and outside with Chicken Spice. Place in a heavy bottomed saucepan with the Chicken Stock dissolved in the hot water. Add onion, wine, bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns. Simmer for 1 ½ hours. When chicken is cooked, remove from the stock. Remove the skin and bones and shred the meat. Return the bones to the stock in the pot, add another 1 – 1 ½ cups of water and boil for 10 minutes. Strain the stock and add sago.
Return the stock to the stove and simmer gently for 10 minutes to cook the sago. Add the butter. Beat the egg yolk and lemon juice with ½ cup of the hot stock and add to the sauce. Bring nearly to the boil. Do not boil, as the egg will curdle.
Add the diced hard-boiled eggs, seasoned with Seasoned Sea Salt, ham and shredded chicken to the sauce. Spoon the mixture into one large or 2 smaller pie dishes. Allow to cool.
Adjust oven rack to one notch below the middle position. Preheat oven to 200°C.
When the chicken mixture is cold, top with pastry, glaze with the leftover egg white beaten with a pinch of both salt and sugar and bake for about 35 – 40 minutes until nicely browned.
Support the pastry by pushing ½ an onion into the middle of the chicken filling before covering the pie with pastry. This helps prevent the pastry from sagging in the middle. Decorate with a chicken cut out of leftover pastry.
Sour Cream Pastry
You will need
3 cups (360 g) flour
1 t (5 ml) salt
250 g butter
1 cup (250 ml) sour cream or crème fraiche
Sift flour and salt twice and cut in the butter with a small knife, a pastry blender (illustrated) or your fingertips. Be very careful if using a food processor, it is inclined to transform the dough into a paste within seconds. The knobs of butter should remain as big a peas, and never become as small as breadcrumbs, or worse, a paste. Leave the flour/butter mixture to stand at room temperature in a cool spot for 20 minutes.
Add all the sour cream at once to the flour mixture and cut in with a knife. Once well blended, use one hand to knead the dough until it holds together and forms a ball.
Never add extra liquid, just continue kneading lightly, the dough will become manageable and start to adhere.
Flatten to a dish – wrap in greaseproof or wax paper.
Leave the dough to rest in the fridge again for half an hour or longer.
Roll out on a floured board and fold into thirds. Turn the dough parcel half a turn so the open side faces towards you. Roll and fold once more in the same way. Let the dough rest wrapped in paper for another half an hour in the fridge.
Repeat the roll and fold process three times more. The dough is now ready for use, or can be refrigerated wrapped in paper and sealed in a plastic bag. Refrigerate for 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Tip from my mom
Add 2 T (30ml) of brandy with the sour cream. It makes the pastry easier to handle and gives it a very good flavour. Because the alcohol evaporates on baking, the pastry does not become chewy, it remains crisp and light.
Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE
Inspired by her grandmother’s cooking, Ina decided to study as a home economics teacher. She worked in London and traveled extensively, soaking up everything she could about the cuisines of other cultures. This she combined with our uniquely South African style and, after a successful teaching and lecturing career, started Ina’s Kitchen, a cookery school, in a converted garage at her home in Constantia.
She became food editor for Femina magazine, wrote a regular column for Die Burger, hosted many TV cookery programmes and published the first of her cookbooks, Cook with Ina Paarman.
Paarman Foods, the manufacturing arm of the business, was born when Ina’s son, Graham, joined the business. Soon the fledgling business managed to secure a foothold in the major supermarkets and in the catering industry. From what was a rather obscure home based industry, Paarman Foods, nurtured and managed by Ina and her son Graham, is today a significant food business servicing a wide spread of markets, local and overseas, with a diverse product offering.
Click here for Ina’s Website and do subscribe to her monthly newsletter.