Its cold and rainy outside and I don’t really want to have to go out to the shops and get something in for Sunday lunch. After a root through the freezer I found chicken breasts and have some mushrooms in the fridge so thought, rather than do a traditional roast, I would try my hand at making a chicken and mushroom pie.
Autumn is very much the time for wholesome, satisfying, comfort food and nothing is more comforting than pie and mash. Now I have made turkey and ham pie at xmas but used bought pastry so I thought this time Id make my own. I have time and it will give me something to do rather than just watching movies and I can finally say I’ve mastered pastry!!
For the Pastry
- 300g plain flour
- 150g chilled butter
- 1 beaten egg
- pinch of salt
For the filling
- 3 chicken breasts
- 150g of mushrooms
- 1 small leek sliced
- 1large stalk of celery sliced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- Squirt of garlic
- 50g of butter
- 2 tbsp of plain flour, plus more for dusting
- 300ml of milk
- 200ml water and a chicken stock cube
- 2 Tsp dried chives
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 beaten egg
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- salt & pepper to season
First Make your pastry
I made mine night and popped it in the fridge overnight but if you don’t have that time at least chill it for an hour or 2 to get it cold enough to survive rolling and shaping in the pie dish. To make the pastry…
- Put your flour in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Add in the cubed butter (I only had spreadable butter so I put it in clingfilm in the freezer to harden first) and rub to incorporate until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add your egg and gently incorporate with a fork before pushing together with your hands – do not knead this (it doesnt need it lol) just bring it together and make a ball, wrap in clingfilm and allow to chill as above. you can even freeze this till you need it
Next make your filling
I’m trying to avoid creating mountains of washing up so use a bowl and a frying pan for this section. All you do is…
- Cut up your chicken breasts into bitesize chunks then fry in a little oil for several minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to fry until the chicken is golden-brown then remove from the pan to your bowl and leave till later
In the same pan gently fry the onions, sliced leek and garlic until softened but not browned then take off the heat and add in to the chicken and mushrooms in the bowl,saving for later.
Make a roux by melting the butter in the pan then adding the flour, stirring constantly for 3 minutes till it has formed a thick paste.
Slowly add milk and then stock, whisking all the time until smooth. Finally season then simmer for a couple of minutes till thickened – this is quicker than using a saucepan too (you could use a white sauce powder to save time on this stage)
next stir in the thyme and chives (I used dry chives here) and pour the chicken and mushroom mixture back into the frying pan. Mix well, then leave until completely cool.
Lastly assemble the pie
- Roll out the pastry and use your pie dish as a guide – cutting a shape a little larger then this for your base and the actual size for your topping. I have an old tupperware pastry guide to do mine.
- Next lay the larger sheet of pastry into your greased pie dish, then gently push into the edges taking special care with the part which will seal with the lid. prick the base of the pie dish thoroughly – this will stop it rising whilst cooking and will give you a crisper base.
- When your filling is cool add in your chicken and mushroom mix and then brush some beaten egg on the edges before popping the pastry lid on top, crimping the edges (push the two bits together) then make at least 2 slits in the top.
- Finally brush the whole thing with with some beaten egg and pop in a hot oven till browned on top (about 40 mins)
There you have it – a flabulous Chicken and Mushroom pie – served with mashed potatoes, carrots, beans and broccoli this will make an amazing Sunday feast. Ok so it isn’t the prettiest but I can attest to the fact of its deliciousness!
The beauty of this pie is that you can pretty much make any filling you want – and although it looks like a lot of work it really isn’t. you can even make it easier by using bought pastry and if you really wanted puff pastry as a lid I would go that route as no-one has enough free time to make that stuff from scratch.
If I had them I would have added in some asparagus instead of mushrooms to really lift this. You could add in celery to the filling which would work well. what I guess I’m trying to say is its up to you how you fill the pie – just fill it!!
Have a Flabulous week – I’ll be the one in the corner with a carb coma!!