I have to confess I didn’t actually make the lovely pie in the above picture, my sister-in-law Rachel did. She’s visiting England for a couple of weeks and staying with us. As with all the other pies I’ve tried so far from The Hairy Bikers’ Perfect Pies cookbook the pie was delicious. The sauce for the filling seemed a little wet but was absolutely fine. I filled the pie and was worried there was a little too much filling so I didn’t put quite all of it in but I realised after it would have been ok. I have to admit we didn’t faff about with two different types of pastry and used a 500g pack of bought puff pastry for both layers. When it came to decorating the top of the pie Rachel used small cookie cutters to cut out the shapes, I’d never thought of this before, I’ve always made a few leaf shapes freehand and marked leaf veins on because that’s what my mother always did. Using little cookie cutters is much more fun. We used my new Le Creuset Stoneware 24 cm Pie Dish. This produces good results every time. I greased and floured the base which worked fine. I don’t know if the pastry would have stuck without the flour.
- 50 grams butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 250 grams mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on size (ideally chestnut mushrooms)
- 6 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs or breasts
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons freshly copped thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 200 milliliters just boiled water
- 50 grams plain flour
- 200 milliliters whole milk
- 4-5 tablespoons double or single cream
- 2-3 tablespoons dry white wine
- freshly ground black pepper
- SHORTCRUST PASTRY
- 200grams plain flour
- plus extra for rolling
- 125 grams cold butter, cut into cubes
- 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- TOP CRUST
- 500 grams ready made puff pastry
To make shortcrust pastry, place flour and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the egg mixture for glazing and add the rest to the mixture until it starts to come together as a ball. remove and shape into a slightly flattened ball, wrap in cling film and let rest in a refrigerator for 15 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured surface and line the pie dish.
To make the filling, melt the butter in a non stick frying pan over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms and fry for 4-6 minutes, stirring often, until the onions and mushrooms are lightly browned. Cut the chicken into small bite sized pieces, season with pepper and add to pan with bay leaf and thyme leaves. Cook everything for 4-5 minutes until meat is no longer pink, dissolve chicken stock cube in 200 milliliter boiling water.
Stir in the flour into the chicken mixture and cook for a few minutes, slowly add the milk, gradually stir in the stock, bringing the mixture to a gentle simmer, cook for 2 minutes until sauce is thick and smooth. Season, remove from heat, add the cream and wine. Cover pan with cling film and set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 190°C/ Fan 170°C.
Spoon the cooled chicken mixture into the dish, brush the edges with some of the reserved egg, roll out the puff pastry, and cover the pie, trim of the excess with a sharp knife, brush top with egg, bake for 40-45 minutes until crust is puffed up and golden brown.