Chicken Pie Recipe


- For the chicken
1.5kg free-range chicken
1 Carrot, diced
2 sticks Celery, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
6 Black peppercorns
bunch mixed herbs

- For the pastry
340g plain flour
170g Butter

- For the filling

2 Carrots, sliced into thick discs
2 stalks Celery, chopped
2 Leeks, white party only
2 Onions, quartered

-For the béchamel sauce
55g unsalted Butter
55g Flour
150ml full-cream Milk
150ml chicken stock
150ml double cream
2 sprigs tarragon, chopped
small bunch flat leaf Parsley, chopped
black pepper
1 Egg, beaten to glaze

Cooking method:
1. Put the chicken in a saucepan with the vegetables, peppercorns and herbs. Cover with water, cover the pan and slowly bring to the boil. Cook for 50-60 minutes, until tender. Turn the chicken over half way through the cooking time.

2. To make the pastry, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3. Stir in enough iced water to bring the mixture together into a smooth dough. Roll half of the pastry out to line a 23cm pie dish or plate and chill for 30 minutes, or until required.

4. Place the carrots into a steamer and steam for 5 minutes.

5. Add the celery and steam for 2 minutes more.

6. Slice the leeks and add them to the steamer with the onions. Cook for a further 5 minutes.

7. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Place a baking sheet on the middle shelf of the oven to heat up.

8. When the chicken has cooled down sufficiently to handle, remove the flesh from the bones, peeling off the skin as you go. Tear the flesh along the grain, pulling it into long bite-sized pieces.

9. To make the sauce, heat the butter and flour together in a saucepan and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously.

10. Whisk in the milk and chicken stock, until the sauce is thickened and smooth.

11. Stir in the cream. Remove from the heat, season and add the chopped fresh herbs.

12. Stir in the chicken and vegetables and leave to cool.

13. Spoon the filling over the pastry. Roll the remaining pastry out to make a lid and lay it carefully over the chicken mixture. Crimp the edges together with the tines of a fork dipped in cold water.

14. Brush the top with beaten egg. Cut a cross in the middle of the pie right through the pastry to allow the steam to escape as the pie cooks.

15. Bake for about one hour, until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into slices and serving with vegetables of your choice.

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