Some of you who know me well enough, know that I love pies – i am Northern after all so its in my make-up! Give me a pork pie on a Saturday lunch time, a mince pie at Christmas or an apple Pie for dessert and i will love you forever!
Two of my very good friends Sam and Jenny came for dins last week and I was keen to cook something new which was nutritious and tasty. After a very busy December Jen was keen to be good and Sam is on a very impressive and inspirational healthkick so I wanted to try and accomodate. Nigel Slater’s Chicken Piri Piri pie ticked all the boxes, relatively healthy (for a pie!), light and delicious. It was also very easy which gave me lots of time to chat to the girls as I got dins ready. Needless to say I did not make the pastry – a story for another time but my experience of making puff pastry for some homemade Sausage Rolls on a hot Summer’s day last year has put me off for life!
8 Chicken Thighs – cut into bitesize pieces
3 Red Onions – chopped
2 Red Chillis
10g Oregano leaves/2tsp Dried Oregano
4 Cloves Garlic
2tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
2tbsp Olive Oil
1tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2tbsp Celery Seeds (i couldn’t find any in Toots so used 1tsp Celery Salt)
Juice of one Lime
5 large Tomatoes – roughly chopped
Light Puff Pastry
1 Egg – beaten
Pre-heat the oven to 200degs. Roughly chop the chillis and garlic and pop into a food processor with the oil, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and the celery seeds/salt, lime juice and oregano. Blitz until all incorporated into a piri piri paste.
Fry the paste in a pan (no need for extra oil as this is already in the piri piri mixture) and when sizzling, add the onions. Once softened, add the chicken ensuring everything is coated in the spice mix. Cook for another 8 minutes and then add the tomatoes – again stirring thoroughly to mix all together. At this stage, season if necessary – i didn’t as had already included celery salt. leave cooking on the hob for 20 minutes.
Pop the mixture into a pie dish and top with pastry, pierce a couple of small holes in the top and gently coat with the beaten egg to give a shiny top. The pie should take roughly 30-40 minutes in the oven.
I served with sweet potato mash, steamed broccoli, kale and green beans which all worked well together – I say this after clearing 3 empty plates from the table after dinner!
For an even healthier option, sweet potato mash would be a lovely topping to avoid pastry or just eating the chicken with greens.