At the beginning of 2016 when bloggers everywhere were sharing their New Year resolutions, I shared my list of 5 things I wanted to do more and less of during 2016. One item on my list was “free range”.
Animal welfare is important to me and I eat free range whenever I can. As of this year, I only buy free range pork, chicken and eggs. The good thing is, eating free range has become increasingly affordable and accessible as more consumers demand it. Full disclaimer, I relax this when eating out and would never even mention it if someone were awesome enough to cook for me. There’s a difference between showing integrity and being a dick.
I hope free range becomes the norm in our lifetime and maybe one day we don’t have to worry about it at all. Until then, it’s good to keep track of accessible free range products. Freedom Farms is one of NZ’s most trusted free range brands and their streaky bacon (YUM!) is always on my shopping list. When I heard they launched a chicken range including whole chicken, boneless skinless chicken breast and boneless skinless chicken thigh, I was 100 percent on board.
I love pies
Today I’m sharing a hand pie recipe I made few times with variations, one of those made up recipes using whatever I have on hand. Hand pies are individual pies (sweet or savoury) often crescent-shaped but can also be round or square. Made from a piece of pastry with a dollop of filling on top, these are folded in half to form a pasty. I’ve made these square to make the most of store-bought pastry sheets. If you prefer rolling your own pastry, feel free to make circle or half circle pies.
This recipe uses chicken and leek but I’ve also made this with chicken and mushroom. Just sub the leek for 6 sliced mushrooms if you prefer. Both are delicious. These tidy parcels of yum can be served warm with a side of greens (asparagus, peas or salad), or at room temp in a lunch box or picnic. It’s not quite picnic weather yet but we’ve had a couple of intense sunny days in-between horrid rain, so I’m feeling hopeful that picnic season is not far away.
Easy Chicken Hand Pies
Makes 4 pies
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 pack of free range chicken breast (350-400grams)
- 1 leek (or 6 sliced mushrooms)
- 3 tablespoon plain flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- Salt and pepper
- 1 free range egg, beaten
- Optional: sesame seeds
- Lay out puff pastry in a single layer to thaw.
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Slice each chicken breast in half lengthways and then cut each strip into 1cm thick pieces.
- If using leek, trim the green top from the leek, cut the remaining white stalk in half lengthways and wash thoroughly as dirt can get trapped between layers. Thinly slice leek and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan. Once hot, add chicken and leek (or mushrooms) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add 3 tablespoons flour, stir to combine and cook for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup milk and 1 tablespoon dried tarragon. Stir until combined, salt and pepper to your taste and then turn off heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes or refrigerate until required.
- Once pastry is thawed, cut each sheet in half so you have 4 long rectangles. Place on a baking paper lined baking sheet, spoon a quarter of the filling onto one half of each piece of pastry, flatten gently, careful to keep the edges clear.
Lightly brush the top edges with beaten egg, fold over so the corners match up neatly and crimp all edges closed using the tines of a fork. Poke 3 sets of steam holes on the tops of the pies, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180°C (350°F) until golden.
- Serve warm with greens or cool on a rack and pack into a basket for a picnic. Do not cool in a closed container as the pastry will go soft. A large lunchbox with a tea towel draped over works well too.
Thanks to Freedom Farms, I have a hamper to giveaway valued at $180. The hamper includes products from the Freedom Farms range including a whole chicken, chicken breasts, chicken thighs, pork roast, bacon, champagne ham, eggs, and chorizo sausages.
To enter, simply comment below with the name of your favourite free range chicken dish. Too easy! THIS COMPETITION IS CLOSED.
Terms and conditions
- One entry per person.
- Open to NZ only.
- It is the responsibility of the winner to redeem their prize.
- Prize consists of a Freedom Farms hamper valued at $180NZ distributed via Ruby’s List. Cannot be exchanged for cash.
- Competition begins 10 October 2016. Entries close Thursday 20 October 2016 and winner will be drawn Friday 21 October 2016, contacted by email and announced here and on Facebook.
- In the event that the winner is not contactable within 48 hours, Bunny Eats Design reserves the right to redraw a winner.
This post is not sponsored. Opinions and recipe are my own. However, the good folks at Freedom Farms have supplied the chicken and prize for this post and giveaway.