We are truly spoiled here in the sunny south east and even more so in Wexford, where we have some of the best produce in the country. This comforting recipe will introduce you to some of the amazing suppliers we work with at Dunbrody Country House. Without them, we wouldn’t have such special ingredients to create beautiful meals and food memories.
Good dishes start with great ingredients, so we are using the best in this recipe starting with Mary Regan's wonderful organic chicken. Mary's chickens are reared with the highest of welfare standards and free to peck away at the wild herbs on the farm near Enniscorthy in Co Wexford. The result is juicy, flavourful, and mouth-watering meat. The chickens are processed on the farm, which ensures that the family have complete control of their treatment and distribution.
Janice Casey Bracken is a chef at Dunbrody Country House in Co Wexford.
Chicken and mushroom pie with a cheddar cheese pastry
For the pastry
60g Wexford White Irish Cheddar
120g Drumderry flour
35g cold Tinnock butter
1 egg beaten
For the filling
3 chicken breasts (Regan Organic Farm), skin off and cut into bite sized chunks
150g Fancy Fungi mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic
300ml Fairfield Farm non-homogenised milk
200ml chicken stock
Salt and white pepper
20g Meadowfield goat's cheese
1 egg beaten
2 tbsp Collar of Gold rapeseed oil
For the cheddar pastry
1 Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. Cut the butter and lard into small squares and rub into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
2 Mix in the grated cheese and add just enough of the beaten egg to bring the mixture together as a firm dough. Knead for two or three minutes, cover, and chill the dough for an hour.
3 Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6, this step is always important as you get the best bake from an oven that is at the correct temperature.
For the filling
1 Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the chicken and let it cook till it turns white and becomes firm. Add the mushrooms and thyme and continue to fry until the chicken is golden-brown and the mushrooms have released all their moisture. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2 Add a little more oil to the same pan and cook the onion and garlic for two to three minutes until softened. Remove from the heat and set aside with the chicken and mushrooms.
For the sauce
1 Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for about three minutes, stirring constantly so that no lumps form and it becomes a thick smooth paste.
2 In a bowl, mix the stock, milk, goat's cheese, white pepper and salt. Pour the liquid slowly into the flour mixture, whisking constantly on a medium heat until smooth. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring constantly for about five minutes or until the sauce has thickened and it coats the back of a spoon.
1 Pour the sauce over the chicken and mushroom mixture. Mix well, then spoon into a pie dish and leave until completely cool.
2 Roll out the cheddar cheese pastry dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 3mm thick. Brush the edges of the pie dish with beaten egg, lay the pastry on top, press down the edges and trim off the excess. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg. Make two or three slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape, then bake the pie in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown on top.
Kitchen Cabinet is a series of recipes for Food Month at The Irish Times from chefs who are members of Euro-Toques Ireland, in support of Ireland’s food producers. #ChefsMeetProducers.