If you are looking for a “let your hair down” and relax weekend, book a couple of days at Somersetgift Farm, Swellendam. We’ve booked Fish Eagle Lodge for a family birthday weekend (my mom turned 70, dad 77 and my Emma 7) so it was quite a BIG birthday weekend, and what better way than to celebrate it with the whole family.
I was in charge of Saturday’s lunch, and decided to make this very tasty and visually appealing chicken pie, it is a bit of a labour of love, but so worth the little bit of hassle to make it.
By 8 the house was filled with the smell of Roast chicken, and by 10 we all had some “special birthday cake” on the veranda overlooking the beautifull Swellendam mountains….
And then it was time to start playing in the kitchen..
For this Spinach and Feta Chicken Pie you will need:
1 Whole free range chicken
1 Roll of puff pastry
One bag of creamed spinach (you will find this with the frozen veggies, it comes with 2 bags in a small box, or you can make a creamy spinach mixture by frying spinach with a little bit of cream, you will need about 3/4 cup full)
One wheel of feta cheese, broken into small pieces
One cup of bechemel sauce (quite thick)
1 egg for on top of the pasty
For the sweet red tomatoes you will need:
A couple of red Rosa tomatoes
Half a cup of Red Wine vinegar
1/4 cup of brown sugar
Roast the chicken, cool and debone. Add the creamy spinach, bechemel sauce and feta. Season well and allow to cool completely to room temperature if the chicken is still slightly warm.
At this point I was running in and out of the house, taking pictures of the girls feeding apples to the horses to catching fish with ouma and oupa in the dam right in front of the house.
About an hour before you want the serve lunch start rolling out the pastry, not too thin, just slightly bigger than the standard puff pastry square.
The bottle of cold Rawbones worked well as a rolling pin with the added benefit of keeping the pastry cold.
Cut strips in the pasty, on both sides +/- 8 cm long and about 2cm wide, long enough to be able to fold over the chicken, to form a roll.
Once cut, lift the pastry onto a baking tray, and add the cooled chicken mixture to the middle of the pastry, don’t “overfill” the pastry.
Start folding the pastry over the chicken, first left then right, till the roll is formed. Don’t worry about small gaps in the pastry, no need to completely seal the chicken.
Wipe some beaten egg over the pastry to form a golden colour while baking.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees till golden in colour.
Start making the sweet little Rosa tomatoes about 15 minutes before you want the serve the chicken pie. Simmer together the Red Wine Vinegar and brown sugar till slightly thickened, this should take about 10 minutes, add a little bit more sugar if it does not want to thicken. The smell of the Red Wine Vinegar is quite addictive and yummy different….add the little red Rosa tomatoes at the end and simmer for about one minute in the thickened sauce.
Serve the chicken pie on a flat warm platter or long wooden cutting board, top with the sweet red tomatoes and drizzle with the syrupy Red Wine Vinegar reduction…
I used 2 x Roast chickens and doubled the recipe, so we served 2 chicken pies, 6 adults , 4 childen and there were no leftovers….
The savoury creamy feta infused chicken, crispy pastry, and a hint of sweet tomatoes is a match made in heaven….
And after lunch, the kids dissapeared again, down the lawn, around the dam, to feed the horses…