Northern Portugal’s food is as diverse as its landscape. With a changeable climate from the coast to the mountains, this region’s fresh produce is abundant and at its finest. Outside of the summer months the temperatures here can be akin to the UK, so hearty dishes are always on the menu. This particular chicken pie recipe from the owners of our villa, Campo da Eira, where they run a cookery school – a must for anyone staying.
Chicken pie recipe ingredients
20-22cm pie dish
Baking beans (pie weights)
1 cooked roast chicken with meat pieces taken off the bone
2 glasses of white wine
1 bunch of parsley, chopped
4 garlic bulbs, finely chopped
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
Salt and pepper to taste
A glug of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
Seasonal vegetables – for this we have used celery, carrots and leeks
Readymade shortcrust pastry (chilled) – enough for the base and top of a 20-22cm pie dish
1 free range egg, beaten
1 Sweat the chopped onion in the olive oil for around 5 – 7 minutes. Once softened add the parsley, garlic and mixed herbs and cook gently for another 2 minutes.
2 Add the roast chicken pieces and seasonal vegetables along with the white wine and coat in the onion and herb mixture. Cover and cook on a low heat for 30 minutes.
3 Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Divide the pastry into two even balls. Roll out the first ball on a floured surface until it is about the thickness of a pound coin. Beat the egg and use it to coat the edges of the pie dish, then fill it with your rolled pastry, covering the base and sides. Cover with grease proof paper and baking beans (pie weights) and blind bake for 15 minutes.
4 While the base is blind baking, roll out the other ball of pastry into a circle to cover the pie top.
5 Take the base out of the oven and put the chicken mixture into the pastry case, including any sauce, then carefully add the pastry top, pressing down the sides so it seals. Brush with more beaten egg, then make 2 or 3 slits in the top of the pie so that the steam can escape. Trim off any excess edges and cook in the oven for a further 20-25 minutes, or until the pie is golden-brown on top.
6 Serve with a good red Portuguese wine and a fresh salad. Perfect for a romantic dinner!
Dine Portuguese style
Portugal produces amazing wine, so don’t be afraid to order the house wine or ‘Vinho da casa.’ This is a great way to taste and experience the different grape varieties of the region without digging too far into your pocket.
Unlike their Spanish neighbours, Portugal doesn’t observe a siesta. However restaurants do generally shut around 3pm and open up again for the evening around 7pm.
Not hungry for a full meal? Try ‘Petiscos’ – like tapas, these mini Portuguese dishes are great for snacks or light meals and are served in many bars. They’re a great way to sample the country’s many amazing flavours and ingredients.