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    Tamasin's chicken and vegetable pie

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    Tamasin's chicken and vegetable pie

    This is the ultimate savoury pie, worth serenading for its homeliness and hidden depths – its golden crust, jewels of veg and chicken, and creamy sauce. I often start from scratch by gently poaching a chicken first with stock veg and herbs. Or you can use leftover roast chicken.

    • Preparation time: 40 minutes, plus chilling and cooling time
    • Cooking time: 100 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours 20 minutes, plus chilling and cooling time 60 minutes 60 minutes 20 minutes

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    • 55g Plain flour
    • 150ml Milk, hot
    • 150ml Chicken stock, hot
    • 150ml Double cream
    • 2 tbsp Chopped tarragon
    • Filling
    • 2 tbsp Chopped parsley
    • 600g Cooked chicken meat, in bite-size pieces
    • 1 Egg, beaten
    • 2 Carrots, sliced
    • Celery sticks
    • 2 Leeks, white parts only, sliced
    • 2 Onions, peeled and quartered
    • 55g Unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
    • Pastry
    • 340g Plain flour
    • Sea salt
    • 170g Unsalted butter, chilled

    Method

    1. Start with the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a food processor; cut the butter into cubes on top. Pulse several times for 3–4 seconds at a time before adding 1 tbsp cold water. If it’s still crumbly, add a little more water. The moment it forms a ball, remove it, wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
    2. Steam the veg until just tender; put the carrots in first for 5 minutes, then add the celery, and after 2 minutes, add the onion and leek – steam for a further 5 minutes.
    3. Make a roux with the butter and flour; alternate between adding the milk and stock a bit at a time, till the sauce is thick. Cook for a few minutes, stirring; add the cream. Take off the heat, season and add the herbs. Stir in the chicken and veg; cool.
    4. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas 4. On a floured surface, roll out 2/3 of the pastry to a 3.5mm thickness; use to line a buttered pie dish (about 20cm diameter if it’s round). Add the filling. Roll out the remaining pastry to cover. Crimp the edges together with a fork dipped in cold water. Brush the top with the egg; cut a cross in the middle.
    5. Bake at the base of the oven for 1 hour before checking. Cover with foil if the top turns too dark; cook for 15 minutes more. Rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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    Cook's tips

    A raw 1.5kg bird will yield about 600-700g boneless, skinless cooked meat.

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