UPDATE: Right, so this is what I get for typing the recipe from memory. I forgot the ham in the first draft. Oops. It should be correct now!
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Lent is over, and the season of feasting has begun! I made this for Palm Sunday, but it would have made a lovely Easter dinner too.
This is an English recipe, and people say English food is bland and boring. Maybe there are a lot of ways to kill roast beef and potatoes, but there's nothing bland or boring about this meal. It's also relatively easy, if you don't make your own puff pastry (which I hear is a royal pain to make. I'll have to try it sometime.)
For my fellow nerds, this dish gets a mention in Harry Potter. Mrs. Weasley serves it at the Burrow in Goblet of Fire (page 61 in the Scholastic paperback edition), right after Bill and Charlie have a battle with picnic tables in the air. Harry helps himself to it, enjoying himself thoroughly after a summer of half-starving at the Dursleys'. Hey, if Harry Potter likes it, it has to be good, right?
Chicken and Ham Pie
2 chicken breasts
6-8 oz cooked ham, chopped
8 oz frozen peas or mixed vegetables
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
A little milk
Garlic powder and parsley
Thaw the puff pastry at room temperature according to directions. [If you forget and have to microwave it, it really does become a royal pain to work with.]
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil the chicken breasts in just enough water to cover. When the chicken is done, remove it from the stock and shred it, reserving the stock.
Make a roux with the butter and flour, adding a little milk for creaminess, and then thinning gradually with chicken stock. Don't over-thin it; it should be about the consistency of pancake batter.
Add frozen peas, chopped ham and shredded chicken to the roux and season with garlic and parsley. Pour into a pie plate or 9x13 pan (I tend to use the latter because then the puff pastry doesn't need trimming.) Roll out the puff pastry and place on top. Bake for about a half hour and serve.
I adapted this from another recipe that no longer exists online, so this is probably not the world's most perfectly authentic dish, but I figure it shoots close enough. It is certainly one of our favorites. Enjoy!
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