We made little versions of this pie a couple of Sundays ago after an exhausting weekend. When will we learn that staying out all night then working all day is just trouble? We only had enough energy left for pie. We ate them piping hot, straight from the oven, accompanied by cold beers. It’s not a sophisticated pie – there is carrot and corn in each bite – but it’s delicious in its humility. It’s what makes the pie so charming. The perfect end to a long week; a belly full of chicken and beer staved off thoughts of Monday morning.
Homestyle Chicken Pie
This is our friend Aaron’s recipe. He stole it from a restaurant where he worked in London. Sarah and I regularly entreat Aaron to make us this for dinner, but now that we have the recipe we can make it any time. Huzzah!
750g free-range chicken breast
2 tbsp plain flour
1 leek, sliced thinly
2 cobs of corn, kernels sliced off the cobs
1 large carrot, diced into small cubes
half a litre of good quality chicken stock
250ml pure cream
for the Pastry (from Tessa Kiros’ Apples for Jam)
600g plain flour
1 tsp salt
400g butter, cut into cubes
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
4 tsp white wine vinegar
1 free-range egg
1 tbsp milk
Fry off the onion in a little olive oil, when translucent add the chicken and cook until golden. Add vegetables and stir through the onion and chicken. Add the hot chicken stock and a dash of cream. Simmer on a low heat.
While the mixture cooks prepare the roux. In a small saucepan on a low heat melt the butter, then add 2 tablespoons of plain (all purpose) flour. Mix over the heat until the roux comes away from the edges of the pan and is one mass.
Add the roux to the chicken and vegetables and stir through. The mixture should thicken over the heat.
While the mixture is simmering make the pastry. Put the flour in a large bowl with salt. Work in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine sand. Add the eggs, milk and vinegar. Continue working the mixture until it comes together in a loose dough. Flatten it slightly, cover in clingwrap and refrigerate for an hour or so.
Preheat your oven to 180C. Grease a large dish.
Divide the dough into two, one part slightly bigger than the other. Roll out the bigger portion of pastry on a floured surface, to a thickness of about 5mm, then cut out a section to match the size of your dish. Carefully lower the pastry into the dish and press against the sides. Make sure that it’s big enough to hang over the sides a little. Spoon in your filling carefully. Roll out the other section of dough and place it over the top. Fold the edge of the first piece of dough over it so it seals, pressing gently.
Mix the extra egg and milk and brush the pastry. Bake until golden!