A classic chicken pie with a creamy mushroom sauce
1 small free-range chicken (or 6 chicken breasts)
1 litre chicken stock
50g soft butter
50g plain flour
100ml double cream
175g button mushrooms, quartered
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Freshly ground white pepper
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
For the pastry:
500g plain flour
250g unsalted butter
A pinch of fine sea salt
100ml cold water
1 free-range egg, beaten
Slash the legs through to the bone in two of the thickest places (to speed the cooking process). Place the bird in a tight fitting pan with a lid, along with the chicken stock and 1 litre water. Poach for 45 mins, until just cooked, then allow the bird to cool in the stock for 30 mins. Pick the chicken, discarding the bones and skin, but reserve the stock. This stage can be completed the day before.
Make the pastry: rub the butter into the flour and salt until it resembles breadcrumbs, add the liquid and form as soft dough—do not overwork. Allow to rest in the fridge for 10 mins.
Heat the oven to 190C. Roll out two thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface until the thickness of a pound coin. Line a 10-inch pie dish and bake blind for 20 mins. Remove the baking beans and brush with a little egg, return to the oven for 3 mins, then remove and allow to cool.
Mix the soft butter and flour to make a beurre manie. Measure 500ml of the flavourful stock (reserve the rest or freeze for future recipes). Bring the stock to a rolling boil, and whisk in the beurre manie. Simmer gently for 5 mins, add the cream and reserve in a cold bowl.
Meanwhile, cook the onions, garlic and mushrooms in 2 tbsp olive oil over a medium heat for 5 mins. Combine the sauce, mushroom mix and picked chicken together with the chopped parsley and mix gently. Season to taste, then spoon into the pie dish and leave until completely cool.
Roll out the remaining pastry on a lightly floured surface until the thickness of a pound coin. Brush the edges of the pastry-lined pie dish with beaten egg, lay the pastry on top, press down the edges and trim. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg.
Make a couple of slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape, then bake in the oven for 30 mins or until golden-brown on top.
Recipe: Hayden Groves