Provence Wines UK
It’s finally here! It’s Christmas Eve and it’s time for me, at least, to put down those packing boxes and crates, and take a breather from sorting out our new house, which is starting to feel like home, and breathe……..Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the year, even more so than Christmas Day with its fanfare of present opening, gargantuan dinners, postprandial snoozes and boozy trifles……it’s a magical day and evening, a day of dressing the tree (we never used to put our tree up until Christmas Eve in my family when I was a child), writing out gift cards for those last-minute presents that still need to be wrapped, and, it’s a day for quiet reflection, candles, good food and wine. Today’s recipe for Christmas Eve Fireside Supper Chicken & Ham Pie is a recipe which fits in to all of above, and is a pie that can be made ahead of time, and then popped into the freezer before being baked.
I made this pie a week ago, as many of my followers on Instagram will remember! I then popped it into the freezer without baking or glazing it, and then last night, I took it out, and defrosted it overnight in the fridge, for later baking today. You CAN bake it from frozen, at a slightly lower temperature and for longer, but I don’t advise it. Serve the pie straight from the oven, making sure everyone gets a slice of crispy, golden puff pastry, with a glass of chilled Provence Rosé wine. I was sent a selection of Provence Rosé wines to enjoy over the festive period, and for me, they are the perfect accompaniment for all sorts of dishes; when I lived in SW France, rosé wine was my favourite tipple, and unlike the UK, where mostly red or white wines are drunk, it’s a wine that is enjoyed by all, men included, especially as they play a game of Petanque (Boules) in Provence and the South West!
The main grape varieties in Provence wines are Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Tibouren and Mourvedre, and Provence rosé is blended with a minimum of two of the grape varieties above; there are two types of vinifcation processes, direct pressing which results in a lighter, clearer colour, and maceration on skins, which gives a deeper colour, and I’ve been lucky enough to witness both processes in action in the past, as well as blend my own wine! I chose the DC wine when I cooked a “test run” pie a few weeks ago – it was a deep pink with a dry but fruity taste, and was perfect when served alongside the pie. A further bottle of Pure Provence Opaline was opened, and enjoyed by all of us, the men included, and tonight I intend to broach the Ste Lucie Diffusion, Les Petits Diables and maybe, if the fire warms our souls us sufficiently, a bottle of the Hecht & Bannier.
Tonight we will be enjoying mark two of my Christmas Eve Fireside Supper Chicken & Ham Pie, by the fireside in our new home, which I will tell you all about in the New Year, when we are a bit more settled……this will be a casual Christmas Eve fireside supper, with the wine in a chiller next to the sofa, and Carols from Kings playing on one of my husband’s vintage wireless; there will be the last-minute checking of food and cooking times for tomorrow, we are having roast goose this year, and then we will probably turn off all of the electric lights and dine and drink by candlelight…..all that remains for me to say is , Santé, Tchin-Tchin, Cheers and a VERY Merry Christmas to you and yours – I will be back on Boxing day with a really handy leftovers recipe to share with you, I hope have a wonderful time with family and friends, Karen
Christmas Eve Chicken & Ham Pie
|Serves||4 to 6|
|Prep time||20 minutes|
|Cook time||50 minutes|
|Total time||1 hours, 10 minutes|
|Meal type||Lunch, Main Dish|
|Misc||Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Hot|
|Occasion||Casual Party, Christmas, Formal Party, Halloween, Thanksgiving|
|By author||Karen Burns-Booth|
- 40g salted butter
- 480g Chicken Breast Fillets (chopped into small pieces)
- 1 large onion (peeled and cut into small dice)
- 4 fresh thyme leaves (finely chopped)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 350g cooked smoked ham or gammon (cut into chunky dice)
- 120ml creme fraiche
- 1 large rectangular sheet of ready rolled puff pastry (I used Jus-Rol, or home-made puff pastry)
- 1 free-range egg Egg (beaten with a little milk for the glaze)
A delectable and hearty pie which is perfect for a cosy Christmas Eve fireside supper, especially when served with a glass of chilled Provence Rosé wine.
|Step 1||Preheat oven to 200C (180C for fan assisted ovens)/400F/Gas mark 6. Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat through.|
|Step 2||Melt the butter in a large frying pan or a wok and then add the chicken pieces, cook them over a medium heat until they are seared and light golden brown. Take them out and set to one side.|
|Step 3||Add the onions to the pan, and fry them in the buttery chicken juices, adding a little more butter if necessary. Fry until the onions are soft, then season the mixture with the chopped thyme salt and pepper and set to one side.|
|Step 4||In a large bowl, mix the cooked chicken, onions and ham together, then add the creme fraiche and mix well again. You should have a stiff but spoonable mixture, add a little more creme fraiche if it is too stiff.|
|Step 5||Spoon the pie mixture into an oblong enamel pie tin, and place the pastry sheet over the top, and crimp the edges, and decorate the pie with any left over pastry, before glazing it with the egg and milk mixture.|
|Step 6||Place the pie dish on the hot baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. (If the pastry is browning too quickly, place a piece of tin foil over the top of the pie, removing it just a few minutes before the end of the baking time)|
|Step 7||Serve the pie warm with seasonal vegetables, preferably with a glass of wine, next to a roaring log fire on Christmas Eve!|
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