The rolling pin is a virgin no more. I don’t remember EVER making pastry without my mum being by my side telling me how it is done so I was VERY pleased with myself on Saturday when my chicken pie was a triumph! Both Rosalind and Jimmy Stewart himself complimented me on it and the pastry in particular.

I was having a little low self confidence dip this weekend and it boosted me no end to find that I could indeed make a pie. Jimmy’s recipe calls for a whole chicken which you have had “cut in pieces”. Easier said than done in this day and age. I was slightly concerned in Waitrose on Friday to discover that it would cost me a million pounds to make the pie with ready chopped up thighs, legs, breasts and whatever. I asked a friendly looking couple by the meat racks if there was a butcher in Beaconsfield who would chop up a whole chicken for me – of course not. No butchers in Soho anymore – neither in the countryside. The man behind the meat counter couldn’t chop me up a chicken either unless I wanted a cooked one so I thought TO HELL WITH IT and bought a whole raw one.

The recipe says you have to put the pieces in a pan with various other things and boil them. After an abortive attempt at tearing a leg off a raw chicken with my bare hands I decided to put the whole damn chook in the pot to boil. I found a second cookbook at Rita’s place which is entitled, “Four Hundred Years of English Cooking” (to which I imagine Rita’s response would be – “well there’s no point doing any more then…”) and it had a recipe that involved boiling a whole capon so I thought not much harm could come to us if I did the same with a chicken… And so it seemed to be. I couldn’t find a sieve for the flour either so I used a tea strainer. I am getting VERY adaptable.

See this blog post for the recipe .

Rosalind rustled up some of Clara Lou Sheridan’s lovely carrots (she later changed her name to Ann of course) and we ate almost everything in two sittings. Greedy fat pigs!

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