Our Kitchen Garden Cook Melanie Johnson shares a delicious chicken and sweetcorn pie recipe, a lovely warming dish for the colder months.
Corn is really a grass, but what sweet joy it brings to the kitchen garden.
Even the simplest dishes can truly sing, such as a sweetcorn salad. Grill a few ears of corn until they start to char, then slice off the kernels and mix in a bowl with chopped spring onions, coriander, a generous squeeze of lime, some crumbled feta and sliced jalapeños, simply seasoned, drizzled in olive oil and topped with a dollop of soured cream. You’ll think it’s summer again.
For the autumnal weather we’re now battling through, however, a pie such as this one is perfect.
Recipe: Chicken and sweetcorn pie with a herbed and flowery crust
For the pastry
Recommended videos for you
- 500g plain flour
- 1tspn sea salt
- 250g chilled butter
- 4 egg yolks (plus an egg, loosely beaten, to make an egg wash)
- 8–12tbspns cold water
- 3 sprigs rosemary, chopped
- 16 chive stems, chopped
- 12 edible flowers such as violas, nasturtiums, marigolds and cornflowers (optional)
For the filling
- 4 chicken breasts, skin removed and sliced into bite-size strips
- 1 onion
- 2tbspn plain flour
- 300ml whole milk
- 2 ears corn, kernels removed
Place the flour and salt into a large bowl. Slice the cold butter thinly and add it to the flour. Use two cutlery knives to cut the butter into the flour. Once it’s flakey, add the egg yolks and half the water. Mix in the yolks and water using a fork to bring it together and add the chopped herbs. Knead the dough gently in your hands to distribute the herbs.
Once smooth, cut off a third, shape it into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill. Shape the remaining dough into a disc, then use a pin to roll it between two pieces of baking parchment forming a circle, roughly the thickness of a pound coin. Refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble.
Add a splash of olive oil to a frying pan and gently brown the sliced chicken breasts all over before removing to a plate. Gently fry the chopped onion in the same pan until soft, but not browned.
Return the chicken to the pan, sprinkle over the flour and stir everything together. Pour over the milk and season well. Continue to cook gently, stirring, until the sauce has thickened. Tip the corn kernels into the pan, mix through and pour into a bowl to cool.
Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4. Take the disc of dough from the refrigerator and roll out to just over 25cm (10in). Brush with the beaten egg and then arrange the edible flowers over it. Use the egg wash to gently brush the flower petals into place.
Next, take the rest of dough from the refrigerator and place it in the bottom of a 25cm (10in) loose-bottomed tart tin. Press it into the corners. Pour in the cool filling and gently place the flowery top on. Press the edges of the pastry together to seal them. Using a small sharp knife cut a cross in the centre (for steam to escape) and then bake for an hour when it should be golden and browned.
Remove from the oven and serve with lightly dressed salad leaves.