Last week Friday (15th of June) we celebrated #DrinkChenin day with a notable stormy chill in the air. I love and enjoy the occasional Chenin Blanc but in winter I tend to enjoy a full bodied red wine more over a perfectly chilled white. So to make it a little more suitable for an icy winter’s day, I’ve made a chicken pot pie with this delicious Chenin Blanc from Kleine Zalze. The renowned wine estate has recently won an array of awards from the Decanter World Wine Awards, John Platter Wine Guide, and the International Wine Challenge just to name but a few.
For those who aren’t aware, besides being known for award winning Chenin blanc and Shiraz, Kleine Zalze is also home to one of the most esteemed and revered restaurants in South Africa, Terroir. Having opened in 2004, and won two EatOut top 10 awards since, with Micheal Broughton at the helm of this local gem, I have yet to visit and tick Terroir off of my bucket list.
It is said that South Africa’s Chenin Blanc is known to be up there with the world’s finest! Chenin Blanc has a long history. It’s thought to have been established in the Anjou region of France as long ago as the ninth century and was probably known then as Chenere. The variety was renamed Chenin Blanc, after Mont Chenin, in the 15th century soon after being exported to the Touraine region in the Loire Valley. The unique white wine also has a long and interesting history in South Africa and is believed to be amongst the first vine cuttings that arrived here in 1655.
Chenin Blanc Chicken, Spinach and Thyme Pot Pie.
Makes 1 big pie or 6 individual pot pies.
- 4 chicken thighs, deboned, shredded and skinned (skins saved to make chicken crackling)
- 200 g spinach
- 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 sheet of store-bought butter puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 50 ml flour
- 340 ml chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 60 ml chenin blanc
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 leek, rinsed well and roughly chopped
On a high heat in a large pan or pot, sear the chicken until golden brown. Remove and set aside. Reduce the heat, then add the butter, olive oil, chopped shallot,leek and thyme, cook for 2 minutes. Then add the spinach and garlic, cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the chicken to the pan, stir to combine.
Add the Chenin and let the alcohol slowly cook away. Add the flour, then the stock and continue to stir until a thick consistency is achieved. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes stirring continuously, until the chicken is cooked through. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.
Working quickly with the pastry, roll it out and place in your preferred dish, add the chicken mixture to the dish, and add another sheet of pastry to the top to seal the pie. I made one with a wonky lattice, an open one with pastry only at the bottom and another one completely closed marked with a fork. Brush with egg-wash and bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until puffed up and golden. If baking in ramekins, place on a baking tray. I’m not particularly sure how true this is, but it reduces the occurrence of soggy bottoms.
To make the crispy chicken skin crackling: remove any fat off from the inside of the skin and place on a paper towel season with salt and pepper (be mindful of how much salt you use, as the skins shrink and could be a bit too salty) Place on a parchment lined baking tray at 200 degrees C. cover with another sheet of parchement and another baking tray to stop the skins from curling up. Bake for 15 minutes until crisp. set aside to cool. Serve as a snack or alongside your pie as an added extra crunch.
Enjoy with a chilled glass of Chenin Blanc.
**Information supplied by the Chenin Blanc Association website. This is not a sponsored post, all views are my own. The costs of making this blog post I have paid for out of my own expense**