Want to make a dinner they’ll remember? Whip up this hearty chicken pie, complete with homemade shortcrust pastry, for a comforting family meal
Prep time: 40 mins
Cooking time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hr 25 mins
Skill level: Easy peasy
Costs:Cheap as chips
For the shortcrust pastry
- 250g plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 60g butter
- 60g lard
For the filling:
- 2 tbsp light olive oil
- 4 chicken breasts, skinned and cubed
- 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon, roughly chopped
- 125g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 30g butter
- 30g plain flour
- 150ml milk
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Egg, for glaze
You will also need:
- 24cm (9½in) enamel pie plate
To make the pastry:
- Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. Cut the butter and lard into cubes and add to the flour. Use a knife to start cutting the fats into the flour.
- Rub the fats into the flour, using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, lifting the mixture.
- Add 2 tablespoons very cold water and start mixing it in to the mixture with a roundbladed knife. Gradually add enough water until the mixture binds together, using only the minimum amount of water, because too much water will make a tough pastry.
- When the mixture starts to form the dough, roll it into a ball — again, handling it as little as possible. Wrap the pastry in a freezer bag, or cling film, and let it rest in the fridge for at least half an hour before rolling out.
To make the pie:
- Set the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7 and place a baking tray in the oven to heat up.
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the chicken and bacon, and cook for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for a further 4-5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms have softened. Remove mixture from the pan.
- Melt the butter in the pan and add the flour. Stir well and then gradually beat in the milk and 150ml (¼ pint) water to give a smooth sauce. Crumble in the stock cube and stir until it dissolves. Stir the chicken, bacon and mushrooms into the sauce and add the chopped parsley and season to taste. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- Roll out half of the pastry to a round large enough to line the base of the pie plate. Spoon the chicken mixture on top. If the chicken mixture is still warm, then you’ll need to work fairly quickly, so that the fatsin the pastry don’t melt.
- Roll out the remaining pastry for the top. Brush water around the edge of the pastry on the pie plate and lay the top over it. Seal the lid of the pie by pressing the pastry edges together well. Using a fork’s prongs to go around the edge will help ensure that they’re well sealed.
- To decorate pie, re-roll pastry trimmings and cut out leaf shapes. Mark veining with a knife. Brush water on back of leaves to stick on top of the pie.
- Brush beaten egg over the top to glaze and make a hole in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape when it’s cooking.
- Place pie on the hot baking sheet. Bake it in the centre of the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until pastry is golden in colour. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with salad.
Nutritional information per portion
This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.
Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.