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)
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.