Sunday, 18 January 2009

Rachel Allen's Chicken Pie

Some things should be noted. I'm not a major fan of Rachel Allen. She always seemed such a poor man's version of Nigella. Some trophy wife of a producer somewhere making a lady of leisure's living of cookery shows playing up the Irish accent in a cavernous show kitchen. Perhaps it was because all her helpful "tricks" had already been touted by others a long time ago - like getting the garlic smell out of your hands... But over the years she's kind of grown on me. The format is a little twee, the pink accessories want to make me barf, but she isn't the spawn of all things faux goddess anymore. (FYI I have no idea with regards to her personal life etc, but like my distaste for Ashley Judd, one wonders how she gets good films with little acting skill.)

So here I was, tapping away on the internet last week whilst she was on tv, and there it was. A beast of a pie. It was so beautiful. Her job was done. Out I trotted to buy a huge pie dish (we don't own ceramic anything.) Bought a lovely Waitrose chicken. Then disregarded most of her recipe to make a pie. Her recipe is here but mine uses, no herbs (too pricy and too wasted) , some chicken powder, no celery because I hate it, no ham because we didn't have it, and no cream because I forgot to add it. Oh and because I couldn't find a surface clear enough to roll the pastry, it doesn't quite cover the meat. This sounds a lot like most of my recipes no?

As it was, it was good. Not great. Well seasoned for me - for once there was no "add some more salt next time" but it wasn't filling. Better luck next time.


Shadowfax said...

Rachel Allen is part of the Ballymaloe dynasty, who run the major cooking school in Eire.

Anonymous said...

Rachel Allens show is fantastic. We watch it in Australia.

Anonymous said...

Rachel met her husband after attending a cookery course at the famous Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland. They fell in love and married. I know what you mean about Rachel though, she seems so smug and too pleased with herself sometimes, but I feel over the years she has definitely improved. BTW Her original recipe for Chicken and Ham pie is delicious

MJM said...

Well, pink-kimono, it seems to me like you could benefit, somewhat, from a year long course in Ballymaloe, or at least, pay more attention to instructions given by Rachel Allen on the internet, before attempting any kind of kitchen activity again! What "pie" you made!! We admire Rachel's achievements here in Ireland and often USE her recipes (as instructed) with amazing success. Despite the fact that Rachel has not even the slightest sign of an Irish accent, she has enjoyed huge popularity here in Ireland. Her cookery programmes and books are both popular and informative.