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Eat the Seasons - January 2013


Fruit, Nuts & Fungi

Apples, Chestnuts, Pears (late – Concorde, Doyenne du Comice, Conference and Winter Nellis), Rhubarb (forced), Walnuts

Vegetables & Herbs

Jerusalem Artichokes, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Kale, Leeks, Parsnips,  Potatoes, Swede, Turnips.

Meat & Game

Duck, Guinea Fowl, Hare, Partridge, Venison

Fish & Shellfish

Brill, Clams, Cockles, Haddock, Halibut, Hake, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Monkfish, Mussels, Oyster, Plaice, Turbot

Happy New Year!  No one can deny that this is the toughest time of year to stick to UK grown, seasonal produce, not least because much of the produce in the supermarkets is from overseas.   A great way to overcome this problem is to visit your local farmers' markets, or when out of town keep your eye out for farm shops.  Summer 2012 was a difficult growing season so now more than ever we need to support UK growers.  Visit www.farmersmarkets.net and www.farmshopping.com for more details of your local markets.


Chicken & Jerusalem Artichoke Pie

Serves 8

Jerusalem Artichokes add great depth of flavour to sauces and stocks, and will turn this simple chicken pie recipe into a truly outstanding dish!

 

Ingredients

For the filling;

  • 30g/1oz butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 500g/1lb 2oz Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut roughly into 1.5cm/½” thick chunks
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 150ml/5fl oz dry white wine
  • 2½ tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml/10fl hot chicken stock
  • salt and black pepper
  • a little chopped parsley or tarragon
  • 700g/1lb 9oz boned chicken leg (or cooked turkey), cut into 3-4cm/1½” chunks
  • 150ml/5fl oz double cream

For the pastry top;

  • 500g/1lb 2oz ready made puff pastry
  • plain flour for dusting
  • 1 free range egg, lightly beaten

Method:

  1. For the filling, heat the butter in a large heavy bottomed lidded pan and gently fry the onion ad garlic until softened but not coloured.
  2. Add the Jerusalem artichokes, grated lemon zest and white wine and boil down until the wine has virtually disappeared.
  3. Sprinkle over the flour and stir for a few seconds so that it is evenly distributed.  Gradually add the stock and stir to make a sauce.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then add the chicken and stir well.
  4. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove the lid and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.  Ad the cream, stir and cook for a final 3-4 minutes.  Adjust the seasoning to taste and add the chopped parsley or tarragon.
  5. Transfer the filling mixture to a 1-1.5 litre/1 ¾ - 2 ½ pint ovenproof pie dish and leave ot cool slightly.
  6. For the pastry top, roll the pastry out thinly on a floured surface.  Cut out a couple of long strips about 1cm / ½ “ wide.  Brush the edge of the pie dish with a beaten egg.  Lay the strips of pastry on the edge, curving to fit and cutting so that they go all the way around but don’t overlap. Brush them with egg, then lay the remaining pastry sheet over the top.  Trim off any excess and press the pastry down all around the edge to seal.  Use the pastry trimmings to make leaves or flowers and glue them in place with the egg wash.  Make a hole in the centre so that steam can escape, then chill the pie in the fridge for half an hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 220 0C / 425F / Gas 7
  8. Brush the pastry top all over with egg wash and place in the oven.  After 10-15 minutes, when the pastry is golden-brown, reduce the heat to 190 0C / 375F / Gas 5.
  9. Continue baking for a further 20-25 minutes.  Serve hot.