Chicken pie

We had the leftovers from a roast chicken in the fridge and I needed a dinner that could be prepared ahead and then put in the oven half an hour before we wanted to eat.  This chicken pie was the result.  It was rich and creamy and delicious and probably the best chicken pie I have made yet.

For the pastry top:

75g (3oz) cold butter
150g (6oz) plain, all purpose, flour
3-4 tbsp of very cold water

For the filling:

Glug of olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 sticks of celery, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1-2 rashers of bacon (optional)
The leftovers from a cooked chicken ( I used the meat from a leg and about half a breast worth off the carcass, but this was a big chicken from the butchers to begin with)
2 tbsp plain, all purpose, flour
glug of sherry or madeira (optional)
350ml stock
100ml cream
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
salt and pepper


Make the pastry by placing the flour and butter in a food processor and whizzing until it looks like breadcrumbs.  Add the water (you may need less or more, so take care) and whizz until it just comes together.  Be careful not to overmix.  If you don’t have a food processor, place the flour in a bowl and add the butter in cubes.  Rub the butter and flour together using the very tips of your fingers and lifting the flour up high to incorporate air. When it looks like breadcrumbs mix in the water using the blade of a knife and then form into a ball when it starts to come together.  Try not to handle the pastry too much.

Wrap the pastry in cling film or a plastic bag and chill in the fridge.

Fry the onion, carrot, celery and bacon (if you are using it) in the olive oil until the onion is translucent, the celery and carrots are tender and the bacon is cooked.  Add the chicken and then the flour and stir to mix well.  Leave to cook for a minute or two to cook the flour and then add the sherry or madeira if you are using it and stir well.  Add the stock gradually, stirring all the time to incorporate the flour and prevent lumps.  Let this bubble away for five minutes.  Add the cream and stir well to combine.  Add the herbs and salt and pepper to taste.

Put this mixture into a pie dish.  Wet the edges of the pie dish.  Roll out the pastry to fit the dish.  Seal the pastry with your fingertips all round the edge of the dish.  Make a hole in the centre with a small knife to allow steam to escape and brush with milk or egg wash.  Cook in a preheated oven at 200°c (gas mark 6) or the Roasting oven of the Aga for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown all over.

You could serve this with a green veg, but it is not really necessary.

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17 thoughts on “Chicken pie”

  1. a super recipe – my attempt would have been fine too. But I was on the phone to my sister while it was cooking and I forgot to check it. The pastry was overcooked but the filling was OK. I will definitely have another go.

  2. I was looking for a simple English chicken pie recipe and when I found yours I immediately decided upon it. It was surely inspiring! Simple but with the necessary ingredients and that special touch!! as well as the friendly way you use to explain it… I tried it today, although I didn’t have the madeira or the celery this time but I’ll surely have them for the next one. The pie came out delicious and juicy anyway… One thing I would like to ask you: When you set the oven to cook this pie, do you put it in the broiling mode so that the heat comes from above only, or in the bake mode so that the heat comes from below, or both above and below together? I have an electric oven. I’ll appreciate your advice in this regard. Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Susie,
      I am really pleased that you enjoyed the pie. I would recommend that you set the oven so the heat comes from both above and below. That way the oven will cook the filling and the pastry. The great thing about a pie like this is that you can add whatever you happen to have available so it really doesn’t need the celery or madeira to still be good. I hope you will make it again and enjoy it just as much. Kath

      1. Thank you, Kath. I live alone and sometimes it’s difficult to get inspired with cooking but it helps reading your recipes and the next one I look forward to prepare is a fruit trifle!

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