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Chicken Pudding. Recipe

Chicken Pudding Recipe:

History and Fun Facts:
Chicken pudding is a traditional British dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. It originated as a way to use up leftover chicken and create a hearty, filling meal. The concept of enclosing meat in a pastry crust goes back to medieval times when cooks would use a pastry crust to seal in the juices and flavors of the meat.

In the past, the pudding was often made with beef suet paste, which is a hard fat found around the kidneys and loins of cows. Nowadays, variations of the dish may use butter or vegetable shortening instead. The chicken is typically fried before being placed in the pudding, giving it a slightly crispy texture that contrasts nicely with the flaky pastry crust.

Ingredients:
- Beef suet paste or store-bought pastry dough
- 1 small chicken, cut into pieces
- Chorissa or smoked veal slices
- Beef gravy
- Mushroom essence or powder
- Pepper
- Salt
- Nutmeg
- Mace

Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

2. Begin by lining a basin with the beef suet paste. Alternatively, if using store-bought pastry dough, roll it out and line the basin, ensuring there are no gaps.

3. Prepare the chicken by cutting it into small pieces. Lightly fry the pieces in a skillet until lightly golden. This step adds a delicious crispy texture to the final dish.

4. Transfer the fried chicken pieces to a stew-pan. If chorissa or smoked veal slices are available, layer them over the chicken. These will add a smoky and savory flavor to the dish.

5. Pour enough beef gravy over the chicken to cover it completely. This will act as a flavorful sauce for the pudding. Season the mixture with mushroom essence or powder, pepper, salt, and a small quantity of nutmeg and mace. These spices will infuse the chicken with rich and aromatic flavors.

6. Simmer the chicken mixture gently for about 15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

7. Carefully fill the lined pudding basin with the chicken mixture, ensuring it is packed in tightly. Pour some of the remaining beef gravy over the filling, reserving the rest to be poured over the pudding when it is served.

8. Cover the pudding with the remaining beef suet paste or pastry dough. Make sure the ends of the dough are wetted with a pastry brush to help it adhere closely to the pudding.

9. Place the filled and covered pudding basin onto a baking tray and transfer it to the preheated oven. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until the pastry crust is golden brown and crisp.

10. Once cooked, remove the chicken pudding from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes before turning it out onto a serving dish. Pour the reserved beef gravy over the pudding just before serving.

Similar Recipe Dishes:
- Steak and kidney pudding: A classic British dish that uses beef steak and kidneys as the filling, enclosed in a suet pastry crust.
- Lamb and vegetable pudding: This variation combines tender lamb pieces with vegetables such as carrots, peas, and potatoes, all cooked in a savory gravy and enclosed in a pastry crust.
- Vegetarian mushroom pudding: A meatless alternative, this pudding features a mixture of sautéed mushrooms, onions, and herbs, combined with a creamy sauce and encased in a pastry crust.

Enjoy the comforting and flavorful experience of a homemade chicken pudding, a dish that brings together tender chicken, rich gravy, and a delightful pastry crust.

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