About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

My Complete Profile

Recent Posts
First, Make Your Beer...
Where's The Beef?
Parent Program
Learning To Fly
A View From The Hill
A Sign
Say Cheese

1001 Dinners 1001 Nights
A Few of My Favourite Things
Abstract Gourmet
Apellation Australia
Becks and Posh
BurgerMary ATX
Cook (almost) Anything at least once
Cooking Down Under
Cook sister!
Cooked And Bottled In Brunswick
David Lebovitz
Deep Dish Dreams
Chef Paz
Chubby Hubby
Eating Melbourne
Eating With Jack
essjay eats
Food Lover's Journey
Grab Your Fork
I Am Obsessed With Food
I Eat Therefore I Am
Iron Chef Shellie
Just Desserts
Kalyn's Kitchen
Kitchen Wench
Matt Bites
Melbourne Gastronome
My Kitchen in Half Cups
Nola Cuisine
Not Quite Nigella
Nourish Me
Seriously Good
Souvlaki For The Soul
Stone Soup
Syrup and Tang
Steve Don't Eat It!
That Jess Ho
The Elegant Sufficiency
The Perfect Pantry
The View From My Porch
Thyme for Cooking
Tumeric & Saffron
tummy rumbles
What I Cooked Last Night
where's the beef
Vicious Ange

Food Blog Resources
Food Blog S'cool
I Eat I Drink I Work
Kiplog Food Links

Food for Thought
Autism Victoria
Autism Vox
forget me now
Lotus Martinis
MOM - Not Otherwise Specified
St Kilda Today

Thursday, March 01, 2007
A Morel Dilemma

Well, it looks like this must be just about the last entry for the month to Waiter, there's something in my...

I can't say its been exactly pie weather during a very hot February in Melbourne but I've eventually managed to pull it all together. There were a couple of false starts, Stargazy pie got a lot of thought, but after a long look through my library and a troll of the Internet couldn't find a recipe that actually sounded as if I would want to eat it, so I left Stargazy to the good people of Mouse.

Since I was into the unusual I thought about an offal pie featuring brains, but the hot weather put me off that idea as well. What was needed was something simple and classic, how about a chicken pie? Not any old chicken pie but one that involved a couple of other ingredients in a menage a trois, where each attends to the other needs and the sum becomes greater than the whole. A love-in if you like. But what things would propel chicken to orgasmic heights?

One of them was lurking in the pantry cupboard, well our linen press really. We are avid mushroomers and pick and dry a significant part of the forage. A couple of 2 litre preserving jars are full to the brim with prize morels. Chicken with morels is a timeless classic, one that makes for a very happy marriage, but do you think that either could say no to another partner, one that has been flirting with both, toying with their affections?

It was time to make the love circle complete.

The season for this particular vegetable is nearly over, what that means is the plump early spears have given way to slender stalks of asparagus, perfect for a pie. And asparagus is perfect for chicken and perfect for morels, the love triangle was set.

Now it is time for me to own up. Am I a leg or breast man? Each has there own undoubted attractive qualities and at times it can be impossible to choose betwixt. There is nothing so comely as smooth, rounded breasts - but that must be weighed against a shapely set of legs, full of promise and mystery. One could almost imagine Meatloaf singing one of his operatic ballads about being torn between the two. But not me, I'm a leg man.

So the chicken I chose for the pie was skinned and boneless marylands. Meat from the thigh has more flavour and can stand up to the cooking better than the breast meat which can so easily dry out. There is also another thing to consider. I know that I'm extremely fortunate in having some morel spots to pick and that if you have to purchase them, even though they are so worth it, they are very expensive. But if they are unavailable or out of price reach, this pie would still be good with regular button mushrooms, quartered. You could even add some anyway to bulk up the pie and make it a foursome after Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.

You have to decide where your morel centre is, that may be kind of hard after eating this pie.


2 shallots, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
50 g butter
1 kg skinned and boneless chicken marylands, cubed
20 dried morels, soaked in boiling water (retain the soak water)
100 g small button mushrooms, halved or quartered (optional)
1 heaped tablespoon flour
1 cup chicken stock
100 ml double cream
10 slender asparagus stalks, chopped in 1 cm segments
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
salt & fresh ground pepper
4 sheets bought puff pastry

Method: sweat the shallots and garlic in 25 g butter and when soft add the chicken cubes, soaked morels and button mushrooms if using and fry until lightly coloured. Meanwhile make a veloute sauce. Melt the remaining butter in a pot and add the flour, gently cook for a minute or two, then slowly add the hot chicken stock, whisking all the time, then add the cream, leave to simmer for ten minutes. When the chicken is lightly browned add the mushroom soak water and boil until nearly evaporated then add the veloute sauce, asparagus and parsley, season to taste and simmer for one minute, leave to cool. Line two pie dishes with the puff pastry and fill with the cooled pie mixture. Top with the other sheets of pastry, brush with eggwash and scallop the edges. Bake in a 220 c oven until the pie is a dark golden colour all over, if you pull it out too early the bottom pastry won't be cooked. Cool slightly, cut into wedges and serve.

Labels: ,

  posted at 7:09 am

At 2:05 pm, Blogger Cindy said...

That's the kind of morel dilemma that could get me batting for the other team! The 'other team' being omnivores, of course. ;-)

At 2:49 pm, Blogger Debra said...

Could you give lessons to other husbands? Mine for instance... I'm the cook in this family, and will definitely bookmark you blog, because I love new recipes. Also, seeing we are from different ends of the world, I'm sure your blog will have some wonderful new recipes.

At 5:36 pm, Blogger Pille said...

Morel dilemma:) I need to keep my eyes open for morel mushrooms - apparently they're somewhere out there.
Pille, a chicken breast woman

At 6:13 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi cindy, it doesn't matter which team you bat for so long as you enjoy doing it. Morels and asparagus are a great match, if you left out the chicken and added in some button mushrooms, it would still be a great pie.

Hi debra, I'm glad you like the recipes. I think with cooking it's one of those things that gets you in or doesn't, don't be hard on hubby, just point him at the vacum cleaner!

Hi pille, well at least we'd never argue over a chicken. I do know there are morels in Poland so for sure you must have some too. They're not easy to spot but if you are lucky enough to find one, look carefully, there are always more around. If you can find a friendly mycologist they might suggest an area that you could look in.

At 12:37 am, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Ahh, Neil I do so enjoy reading your high level morel dilemma.
If the pie is as good as the writing, it's great!

At 1:08 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That pie sounds amazing, and I am jealous of your mushroom picking ability! I tried reading up on it last year but became disheartened after reading about the vast array of mushrooms which can bring about painful death :(

At 1:54 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi tanna, I think the pie was better than my writing!

Hi ellie, you just can't read up about mushrooms, you have to find someone to show you, there are always mushrooming trips about, keep your eyes open, especially if it starts to rain. There's only one really bad one, the self explanatory death cap, the red one with white spots is actually a cheap way to get high, though there is a recorded death.

At 5:21 am, Blogger Brilynn said...

I pick and dry morels as well, this pie definitely wouldn't be the same without them... nothing is.

At 10:07 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi brilynn, you're sure right there, I think we are members of a very exclusive club.

At 3:39 am, Blogger Jeanne said...

So if I have used up my stash of morels does that make me immorel?? And I have to say that if I were the two core members of a threesome I might have concerns about inviting asparagus only after the thick stems of summer have given way to the thin, spindly ones... :o) But moving rapidly along!!

Chicken, morels and cream must be one of the most luxurious things on the planet. I carefully rationed my stash of dried morels that I carried back from France and went into raptures each time we ate them. Bliss. You are so lucky to be confident enough to go foraging - I think all those years of my parents telling me that anything I picked in the wild would Definitely Kill Me unfortunately did the trick :-(

Thanks for an awesome contribution to WTSIM and hope to see you again next month!

At 10:23 am, Blogger Cindy said...

You were right, Neil. I pulled this recipe out of the archives last week and thoroughly enjoyed a chicken-less version. Thanks for the inspiration!

At 2:32 pm, Blogger neil said...

You don't get away that easy Cindy! What did you replace the chicken with and did you use morels? Umm, my archives huh. Thank heavens for Google search.


Post a Comment

<< Home


Recipe Categories
Cakes & Desserts

November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
May 2009
June 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
July 2012

Prev ~ List ~ Random ~ Join ~ Next
Site Ring from Bravenet

Site Feed

counter easy hit

Blog Design by:

Image created by:
Ximena Maier

Powered by:

Photos, Original Recipes, and Text - (C) Copyright: 2005-2010
At My Table by Neil Murray, all rights reserved.
You may re-post a recipe, please give credit and post a link to this site.

Contact Me
Neil Murray

Follow messytable on Twitter