Torta di pollo e verdure (chicken and vegetable pie with lemon zest)

This is a lovely chicken and vegetable pie. It’s yet another recipe from the Gino D’Acampo Italian home baking cookbook. That book really is a godsend – thanks Vanessa! The pie appears in the ‘Party’ section and is seemingly designed to be split into 8 slices for party food. However I’ve found that it works really well as a dinner, divided into quarters, or thirds, depending upon how greedy you’re feeling! I made it in a 10” ceramic pie dish and cut it into thirds so there’s a slice for me, a slice for Alberto when he gets in from work and a ‘spare’ third for lunch tomorrow!

I served it with roasted asparagus and vine cherry tomatoes and boiled new potatoes.

Olive oil

1 large red onion, finely sliced

1 tablespoon of rosemary leaves, finely chopped

1 yellow pepper, deseeded and diced

1 red pepper, deseeded and diced

(actually I used half each of two large peppers)

1 leek, cut lengthways and then finely sliced

1 courgette, cut lengthways and sliced, 1cm thick

2 chicken breasts, diced (actually, I used 4 or so average sized chicken thigh filets – the flavour is a bit meatier than breast.)

4 tablespoons of plain flour

1 large egg

70g of grated Parmesan/Parmiggiano Reggiano/Gran Padano

Zest of 1 lemon (the lemon zester I got from Alberto for Christmas is invaluable for this. Before I kept skinning my knuckles on the cheese grater!)

100ml double cream

Ready rolled puff pastry

Brush the pie dish with oil

Preheat the oven to 180

Heat the olive oil in the frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onions for two minutes.

Add in the chopped rosemary along with the rest of the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 8 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the frying pan and set aside.

Pop the chicken bits in a bowl and coat with the flour.

Fry the chicken pieces until golden brown. (You may need to add more oil)

Whisk together the cheese, cream, lemon zest and 1 egg.

Line the base of the pie dish with a layer of puff pastry and arrange the chicken and vegetables on top.

Pour over the egg and cream mixture and cover with a pastry lid.

Pinch the edges together and trim. Glaze with milk or beaten egg.

Make a steam hole and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes until golden.

A lovely dish. Beautiful flaky pastry a creamy interior and a lovely combination of the lemon and rosemary flavours. And there’s so much veg in it that you can even forget about the cream and convince yourself that it’s actually healthy!

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About neilche

Hi. My name's Neil. I live in Brighton with my flatmate Alberto and I work as a Librarian at a local college. I like cooking, eating and socialising with friends. Which is what prompted me to start this blog. I cycle everywhere around town - it helps to work off the calories!
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