If there was ever any doubt… this is a pie. A chicken pie to be exact. And not as unhealthy as you’d think, for there is no cream. The pie crust is only on the top which I always prefer. Too much pastry is one thing, soggy pastry is quite another. I made this one for Claire and I. I think it took us about three days to get through. I’m not even really a pie person but when a pie is this good, the world just seems a better place.
When pies go right:
Lots of gravy inside. Crusty, flaky pastry. Tender meat. Well cooked veg (if any). Few if any potatoes. So hot you can’t taste anything for a week after.
When pies go wrong:
Dry. Tough meat. Too many potatoes (clearly just a filler). Bland. Cold.
Feel free to comment on more ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’.
Also… what is the ultimate pie filling??? For me it has to have meat. A friend of mine once served me a chicken pie with stuffing inside. Now that was immense. I haven’t found my ultimate pie filling yet. What’s yours??
- Chicken – cubed
- Carrots, leaks and potatoes – chopped
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 850ml hot chicken stock
- 50g plain flour
- 300ml milk
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 4 slices ham – cut into strips
- 500g shortcrust pastry
- 1 egg – beaten
- Place chicken, veg and half the thyme into a large pan. Season. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce. Cover for 15 mins. Set a colander over a bowl. Pour in the pan contents reserving 1 pint of liquid.
- Rinse pan, return to heat, melt some butter and cook the onions for 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and stock a little at a time to make a smooth thick sauce. Add the milk and simmer for 2 minutes. Take off the heat. Add the rest of the thyme, the lemon juice, parsley and more seasoning.
- Mix the chicken, veg and ham and place in a deep 4 pint oven dish. Pour over the sauce. Leave to cool slightly. Preheat oven to gas6.
- Roll out the pastry to 2 inches larger than the dish. Cut a 1 inch strip from around the pastry. Brush rim of dish with the egg and press the strip all round. Brush with egg and lift the pastry onto it, pressing the edges to seal thoroughly. Trim off excess. Mark pastry edge with a fork. Make 4 small slits in the pastry and brush with egg. Make pretty patterns with leftover pastry 🙂 Bake for 25-30 mins until golden.