Delicious British free-range chicken pie
|Preparation time:||45 minutes|
|Cooking time:||1 hour 15 minutes|
Perfect for kitchen supper with friends or family.
- 1kg diced British free-range chicken - thighs and breast
- 300g button mushrooms cut in half
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves chopped, plus 2 sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 180g finely chopped onion
- 100g butter
- 80ml double cream
- 50g plain flour
- 300ml milk
- 300ml chicken stock
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper
- Savoury pie pastry (recipe below)
Put the chicken, 2 thyme sprigs, bay leaves, onion and plenty of seasoning in an ovenproof dish. Pour over the stock, cover with foil and cook for 25 minutes at 175°c. Stir half way through so the chicken cooks evenly.
Remove the dish from the oven, revel in that glorious comforting fragrance and drain the juices, measuring 300ml into a jug. Fry the mushrooms in the butter until a gleaming pale gold, drain, season and set aside.
Now make the sauce; the cheat's way is to put the butter, flour, stock and milk into a saucepan and whisk continuously and firmly over a medium heat until thickened. The purist's method is to melt the butter, add the flour and stir for 2 minutes to cook it, add the stock and then the milk, stirring continuously. Beware any lumps - constant attention is the key to success whichever method you choose - this is not the time to abandon ship to do something else! Season well. Add the remaining thyme leaves, mushrooms and chicken to the sauce and mix gently to keep the chicken pieces whole.
Pour into a suitable pie dish lined with 5mm thick pastry. Cover with another 5mm piece of pastry leaving some pastry to overlap the edges. Crimp the edges and cut off the excess. Whisk the egg with a pinch of salt and brush the pastry with it for a deep golden glaze. Decorate your masterpiece with spare bits of pastry cut into leaves, prick 2 holes in the top to let out the steam and bake for 45 minutes at 175°c until golden brown. Enjoy with fresh vegetables and mashed potato - yum.
Definitely, absolutely worth the effort.
- 150g cubed chilled butter
- 150g cubed lard
- 500g sieved plain flour
- 150ml iced water
- Salt and pepper
In a food processor (or by hand if you prefer - and why would you?!) mix the flour, seasoning, chilled butter and lard until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add some water and process for about 10 seconds until the mixture resembles dough. Tip out onto a board and bring together into a ball. Flatten slightly, wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge (the pastry, not you) for at least half an hour before rolling.