"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-28-2021, 09:52 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 8
Chicken pie struggles

Hi everyone,


First post. So I'm having some struggles with a chicken pie recipe that I really enjoy making but I can't seem to perfect.



The recipe I'm using is Jamie Olivers chicken pie recipe.






My main issue is the gravy consistency. If I make the filling and add cornstarch while it's boiling, it gets nice and thick and gets to the consistency I want.


However once I let the filling cool a bit, put the pastry lid on, brush with egg wash and prick with a fork into the oven -- about 45 minutes later once the pasty has cooked nicely, when I break into the pastry the gravy is super thin. Not thick at all.

So I'm trying to understand what I'm doing wrong here. Why is my filling so watery and thin? Any tips you could recommend please let me know.

Goliath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 12:56 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 25,241
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Welcome to Discuss Cooking, Goliath. I think the problem is using corn starch instead of flour. Corn starch is great for thickening a gravy that will be used soon. Too much heating does tend to make it lose its thickening power.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 02:25 PM   #3
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
Welcome to Discuss Cooking, Goliath. I think the problem is using corn starch instead of flour. Corn starch is great for thickening a gravy that will be used soon. Too much heating does tend to make it lose its thickening power.

Thank you for your reply! Wow, that's a simple solution, will definitely try it next time, thank you.


My only other issue is that when I make chicken pie I almost always use chicken breasts instead of thighs due to price - in my country thighs are way more expensive than breasts.


What I do is I cut the chicken breasts into strips and then I lightly fry them until they are about 60% done. Then I remove, and add back to the pot once I've cooked the rest of my veggies, add stock etc.


My issue is that by the time the puff pastry is fully cooked (45 minutes later in my oven), my chicken ends up pretty dry. I don't know how to make a chicken pie with soft, succulent chicken (if using chicken breasts).


Any tips, tricks would be most appreciated.
Goliath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 02:44 PM   #4
Senior Cook
 
ScottinPollock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: West slope of the Sierra Nevada
Posts: 448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goliath View Post
My issue is that by the time the puff pastry is fully cooked (45 minutes later in my oven), my chicken ends up pretty dry.
Unfortunately, chicken breasts go from perfectly cooked to overdone in just a few minutes at pie baking temps. I would recommend just searing them and/or cutting them into slightly larger pieces.

A few Q's

1.) What temp do you bake your pie at?

2.) Does your oven have convection fan?

3.) Do you blind bake your crust beforehand (or would you be willing to)?
ScottinPollock is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 02:49 PM   #5
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 47,590
The idea to use flour in place of corn starch is right on.

If your chicken is overcooked by the time the pie is done, don't precook the chicken. The original recipe specifies thigh meat for this reason. It contains more fat so it won't dry out as easily.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 02:52 PM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 25,241
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goliath View Post
Thank you for your reply! Wow, that's a simple solution, will definitely try it next time, thank you.


My only other issue is that when I make chicken pie I almost always use chicken breasts instead of thighs due to price - in my country thighs are way more expensive than breasts.


What I do is I cut the chicken breasts into strips and then I lightly fry them until they are about 60% done. Then I remove, and add back to the pot once I've cooked the rest of my veggies, add stock etc.


My issue is that by the time the puff pastry is fully cooked (45 minutes later in my oven), my chicken ends up pretty dry. I don't know how to make a chicken pie with soft, succulent chicken (if using chicken breasts).


Any tips, tricks would be most appreciated.
Why aren't you just following the recipe? It calls for chicken breast, not thighs, and flour, not corn starch.

Does your oven not go up to 200C? If it does, the video says the pie should be done in about 15 minutes. You are basically just baking the crust and making sure the flour loses its raw taste. Everything in the filling is already cooked. Did you preheat your oven? That could make a big difference.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 02:54 PM   #7
Senior Cook
 
ScottinPollock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: West slope of the Sierra Nevada
Posts: 448
Another thought would be to refrigerate your pre-seared chicken before adding it to the pie, and again, more squared off chunks would cook slower than strips.
ScottinPollock is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 02:55 PM   #8
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottinPollock View Post
Unfortunately, chicken breasts go from perfectly cooked to overdone in just a few minutes at pie baking temps. I would recommend just searing them and/or cutting them into slightly larger pieces.

A few Q's…

1.) What temp do you bake your pie at?

2.) Does your oven have convection fan?

3.) Do you blind bake your crust beforehand (or would you be willing to)?

Temp is around 210 deg. Oven does not have convection fan. I don't blind bake my crust.


I don't have a base crust, I just have a puff pastry lid. Pop it on over the filling and Bobs your uncle. As in the Jamie recipe that I linked to - everything is done according to his instructions.
Goliath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 02:56 PM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 25,241
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottinPollock View Post
Unfortunately, chicken breasts go from perfectly cooked to overdone in just a few minutes at pie baking temps. I would recommend just searing them and/or cutting them into slightly larger pieces.

A few Q's

1.) What temp do you bake your pie at?

2.) Does your oven have convection fan?

3.) Do you blind bake your crust beforehand (or would you be willing to)?
Good questions. But, I never heard of blind baking a top crust. There isn't any bottom crust.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 02:57 PM   #10
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
The idea to use flour in place of corn starch is right on.

If your chicken is overcooked by the time the pie is done, don't precook the chicken. The original recipe specifies thigh meat for this reason. It contains more fat so it won't dry out as easily.

So if I don't precook it, are you suggesting I put the raw uncooked chicken into the filling mixture, then put the lid on and bake in the oven like that?
Goliath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 03:00 PM   #11
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
Why aren't you just following the recipe? It calls for chicken breast, not thighs, and flour, not corn starch.

Does your oven not go up to 200C? If it does, the video says the pie should be done in about 15 minutes. You are basically just baking the crust and making sure the flour loses its raw taste. Everything in the filling is already cooked. Did you preheat your oven? That could make a big difference.

I'm using chicken breasts. Admittedly, I don't have flour so hence the cornstarch but I didn't know there would be such a difference which you pointed out, and I'm glad you did.


My oven goes up to 240 deg. However everything in my oven seems to take SOOOOO long to cook. If I cook the pie for 15 minutes the pastry will look white and nothing has crisped up.


After 45 minutes the pastry looks golden brown and has puffed up. Whenever I see his recommendation of 15 minutes I'm always rolling my eyes because it just doesn't work that way in my oven.
Goliath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 03:32 PM   #12
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 47,590
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goliath View Post
So if I don't precook it, are you suggesting I put the raw uncooked chicken into the filling mixture, then put the lid on and bake in the oven like that?
You can do that as long as you ensure the filling is hot and bubbling when you take it out. Or you can consider partially cooking the chicken before adding it to the rest of the recipe.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 04:04 PM   #13
Senior Cook
 
ScottinPollock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: West slope of the Sierra Nevada
Posts: 448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goliath View Post
Temp is around 210 deg. Oven does not have convection fan. I don't blind bake my crust.

I don't have a base crust, I just have a puff pastry lid. Pop it on over the filling and Bobs your uncle. As in the Jamie recipe that I linked to - everything is done according to his instructions.
OK... Sorry, didn't watch the vid.

1.) Cut the chicken a little thicker.

2.) Sear it only, in a hot pan.

3.) Let it cool, and then refrigerate it for a half hour or so.

4.) Add the chicken last, just before covering with the pie crust.

Of course you can probably skip all these steps and go with the 15 minute mark and just put the pie under the broiler (grill) for a few more minutes to get it crispy.

If your oven seems to under perform, are you at altitude? Have you checked its set temp is actually its real temp via a thermometer?
ScottinPollock is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 04:21 PM   #14
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 25,241
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Are you preheating the oven before putting the pie in?
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 04:56 PM   #15
Executive Chef
 
dragnlaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4,688
Goliath, all my packages of puff pastry also go from 375 or 400 and for anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes.

If it is really taking 45 minutes in your oven then there just might be something wrong with it? Do you have problems baking anything else in it?

Is the puff pastry separated into sheets or need to be rolled out? is it too thick?

Something just doesn't make sense.

I feel for you - very frustrating!

BTW - Welcome to DC!
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
dragnlaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 05:17 PM   #16
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
Are you preheating the oven before putting the pie in?

Yes of course I put the pie in after the oven has preheated to the desired temp.
Goliath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 05:22 PM   #17
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragnlaw View Post
Goliath, all my packages of puff pastry also go from 375 or 400 and for anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes.

If it is really taking 45 minutes in your oven then there just might be something wrong with it? Do you have problems baking anything else in it?

Is the puff pastry separated into sheets or need to be rolled out? is it too thick?

Something just doesn't make sense.

I feel for you - very frustrating!

BTW - Welcome to DC!

It's one big sheet that I have to roll out. If I cook the pie for 15 minutes and then put under the broiler what happens is the pastry is raw inside. Raw, raw, chewy pastry.



I've tried this.


If I cook for 40-45 minutes and then put under the broiler, the pastry is nice and puffed up, it's crispy and zero raw, chewy pastry. I just have to accept the fact that my oven is slow.



I think I'll implement some of the good tips in the thread. Precook chicken until 60% or so, let it cool, put in the fridge then add to the filling once it's ready to be put in the oven. Hopefully by taking those extra steps the chicken won't be super duper dry by the time the pastry has cooked.


I think putting completely raw chicken into the pie filling and cooking under liquid for 40-45 minutes is going to be a little dicey.
Goliath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 05:34 PM   #18
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 47,590
Consider buying an inexpensive oven thermometer to check the actual temperature of the oven. You may find the temp is way off. With an oven thermometer, you can determine what setting you need to get the temp you want. That'll may cooking less stressful.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 06:20 PM   #19
Executive Chef
 
dragnlaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4,688
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goliath View Post
...
I think I'll implement some of the good tips in the thread. Precook chicken until 60% or so, let it cool, put in the fridge then add to the filling once it's ready to be put in the oven. ...

I think putting completely raw chicken into the pie filling and cooking under liquid for 40-45 minutes is going to be a little dicey.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Consider buying an inexpensive oven thermometer to check the actual temperature of the oven. You may find the temp is way off. With an oven thermometer, you can determine what setting you need to get the temp you want. That'll may cooking less stressful.
I don't think you need to worry especially if you even just brown your chicken - pretty sure after 40 minutes it's going to be cooked. And if all your other ingredients are ready and heated - at this point, I wouldn't let it cool nor refrigerate - I would just add them all together.

I have not read that recipe but if all your ingredients are warm or hot when put into the dish, it might even help the pastry come to temperature.

Another suggestion, why not try just cooking some pastry to see how long it takes? This way you will know if the pie ingredients are having an affect on anything.

I was going to suggest exactly what Andy has said. An oven thermometer shouldn't be that expensive. And certainly help to make things less stressful.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
dragnlaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2021, 09:46 PM   #20
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 25,241
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Maybe the problem is the puff pastry. Do other people have the same problem with that brand of puff pastry?

But, I agree with Andy and Dragnlaw. Finding out how hot your oven actually gets could help solve the problem.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
chicken, pie

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.