Beer Wine Bacon Chicken Pie
Last night Ben and Boriss came over and helped me move a baking project out of beta. We ate the 1.0 launch of beer wine bacon chicken pie and celebrated with a screening of Black Dynamite. Here’s the recipe for your dining pleasure:
- Olive oil
- Up to 2 tbsp of your favorite seasoning blend for chicken. I recommend Weber Grill Creations Kick’n Chicken. (Seriously that stuff goes good on just about anything.)
- 2 cups of chicken, cut into 1″ cubes or smaller
- 1 1/2 cups of onions, chopped
- Crushed garlic
- 3/4 cup of celery, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3/4 cup of carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup of frozen peas, thawed
- One 12-ounce jar of chicken gravy
- One 22-ounce bottle of a good quality amber ale
- One bottle of cheap quality red wine
- Corn starch
- A package of two pre-made frozen pie crusts
- One package of bacon strips. Do not get thick cut and look for bacon that isn’t too fatty or your pie will be a big greasy mess.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 F. Keep the cat away from the bacon.
Step 2: Heat a large frying pan to medium hot with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Put the onions, carrots, and celery in the frying pan. Sautée for a few minutes, allowing the onions to get lightly scorched in a few places. Add up to two tablespoons of rosemary, thyme, or a blend of herbs for chicken. Add a heaping tablespoon of crushed garlic. Add some beer and half as much wine to prevent the vegetables from drying out while they cook. Reduce heat, cover the pan, and simmer the veg for an hour or until tender to the bite, stirring and adding more beer and wine as needed to keep moist.
Step 3: Remove one pie shell from the freezer.
Step 4: When the vegetables are thoroughly cooked, bring the heat back up to medium-hot. Make space in the middle of the pan and add a splash more olive oil. Add the chicken pieces. Quickly sear the meat on all sides then immediately go to step 5.
Step 5: Pour the jar of gravy into the pan. Fill the same jar with beer and add to the mixture. Fill the jar halfway with red wine and add that as well. Stir and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to bubble uncovered for a few minutes to allow it to reduce. Begin adding corn starch about a teaspoon at a time, thoroughly mixing it before adding more. The pie filling is ready when it is the consistency of very thick stew.
Step 6: Stir in the peas. Immediately transfer the filling to the pie shell. If the stew is thick enough you can overfill it slightly, but don’t overdo it or you’ll have a hot mess inside the oven. You will probably have leftover pie filling, which keeps well in the refrigerator for a quick lunch. Stick these in a tupperware for a quick microwaveable stew. Just make sure you cook the chicken thoroughly when you use the leftovers.
Step 7: Weave a lattice top for the pie using long strips of bacon. Trim the bacon so that the ends of the strips only extend about an inch beyond the crust. Tuck the edges down into the pie.
Step 8: Place the pie tin on top of a baking sheet. Bake the pie at 350 Fahrenheit for 40 minutes. Twice during baking, open the oven and gently blot the top of the pie with a paper towel to absorb excess bacon grease. If the bacon starts to get too crispy, put a layer of foil over the top of the pie to deflect heat.
When serving the pie, abandon all hope that it will look pretty once you cut it up. This pie is a big hot yummy mess. There also isn’t much point in preparing side dishes to go along with it as it’s incredibly filling. The pie goes well with a glass of the same beer that went into the gravy.
You can try lots of variations on this theme. A Guinness-beef stew might go nicely, or if you’d like the chicken to be very, very tender you can always marinate it in beer overnight and then cook it in a crock pot before stirring it into the pie. The important part is booze + pie = nom nom nom.