Kentucky PIE-d Chicken
By Mike on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, 23:40 - Permalink
This is a food experiment that's been on my To Do list for at least a couple of years now...
To take a takeaway bucket of chicken and make it into some sort of pie as the centrepiece of a more balanced family dinner
I went to the KFC drivethrough and picked what seemed to be the maximum chicken-to-money ratio - a Bargain Bucket containing 14 pieces of chicken and 4 portions of fries
I also added a side of corncobs and another of gravy.
Back at home, I took the chicken pieces and separated them into three heaps:
Bones (set aside to make stock for more gravy)
Skin and breaded coating
I stripped the corn kernels off the cobs and mixed them in with the chicken meat - then I put this in the fridge until later.
I covered the bones with water in the pan, added a small onion cut into quarters, and put the pan on a medium heat to boil, then simmer for 45 minutes or so.
My original concept for the crust was to somehow reduce the breaded coating into a dough and roll it out to form a proper pie crust, but there wasn't really that much of it - and the mechanical properties of the fried coating made the whole idea take a different turn - I decided to just play along and see how it turned out...
I put the breaded coating and chicken skin into a food processor and ran it for a couple of minutes
It reduced the contents to fine crumbs. I put these in a large bowl.
Next, I took the 4 portions of fries and ran them through the food processor, reducing them to similarly fine crumbs.
It's interesting to note that both of these ingredients resisted processing to a finer texture - but they are both quite dry (in terms of actual water content, not oil) - perhaps adding a little liquid might have changed the process, but I didn't want to chance it.
I mixed the potato pieces into the fried crumbs. This would be a topping for the pie, rather than a solid crust.
Back over at the hob, the chicken stock was done - I strained it to make about a litre of very fine-looking and tasty stock - some of this flavour and colour came from residual scraps of seasoned coating that were on the ends of bones etc.
Because the stock (and the other contents of the pie) were already quite highly seasoned, I just added some wholemeal flour to the stock to thicken it into gravy.
Wholemeal is good for doing this - as it doesn't form lumps so readily as ordinary white flour. It's important to boil and simmer the gravy for a little while after adding the flour though, or else there can be a mealy, uncooked-flour flavour.
(I also added in the pot of gravy I bought with the takeaway - just for added flavour and depth)
Assembling The Pie
I looked at the amount of crumb topping I had made and it became apparent I would need a larger dish - I spread the chicken pieces and sweetcorn out in it, then mixed in some of the gravy.
I spread the crumb topping over the chicken filling
I baked it in the oven for 45 minutes - really just to crisp up the top and warm through the contents - it was already fully-cooked in every part, so didn't need actual baking.
The End Result
Well, it was interesting, and very tasty - served with fresh vegetables, this makes a rather more balanced family meal than just a bucket o' chicken - but is no less satisfying.
Also, serving it like this did seem to extend the serving capacity a little. The original 14 piece bucket would have served maybe 6 people (if they didn't mind sharing the fries and fighting over the corn), or 4 very hungry people, I guess. The pie rendition of the exact same ingredients served about 8 very generous portions.
This wasn't exactly what I set out to make, but I'm calling it a success.
Here's the full video version of this pie monstrosity:
Before, during or after the video(s) embedded in this page, the player may display advertisements or links to additional videos - these are not affiliated to Atomic Shrimp and the selection is something over which I have no control.