Chicken and smoked ham pie
- March 2015
- Serves 8-10
- Hands-on time 1 hour, simmering time 3½ hours, oven time 1¼ hours, plus cooling
GBBO contestant Kate Hendry shares her childhood recipe of a chicken and ham pie that’s best served cold on picnics or for lunch.
- 23.6g (8.6g saturated)
- 35.6g (6.3g sugars)
- 4 skinless and boneless free-range chicken thighs
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
For the jelly (or see timesaver tip)
- 1 uncooked smoked British free-range ham hock (about 1kg), from good butchers
- 1 carrot, halved
- ½ onion
- 1 star anise
- 5 fresh tarragon sprigs, chopped
- 6 tbsp black treacle
- 5 gelatine leaves (we used Dr Oetker, widely available – if you use another brand, follow the pack instructions)
For the pastry
- 200g strong bread flour
- 200g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 1 tsp salt
- 130g lard
- 1 free-range medium egg
You’ll also need
- 16cm loose-bottomed cake tin at least 8cm high
- For the jelly, put the ham hock in a large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and skim off any residue that forms on top. Add all the stock ingredients apart from the gelatine and simmer for 2 hours. You may need to top up the water to ensure the hock is covered.
- Remove the hock from the liquid. Sieve, discard any solids, then return the liquid to the cleaned pan and bubble over a high heat until reduced to about 600ml (about 90 minutes). Remove from the heat and season to taste. Put the gelatine in a small bowl of cold water and leave until floppy (about 5 minutes). Squeeze out the excess water, then add the gelatine to the stock. Stir until dissolved. Cover and set aside.
- For the filling, put the chicken thighs between 2 sheets of cling film and bash with a tenderiser/rolling pin until flat. Season generously with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the chopped tarragon. Once the hock is cool enough to handle, cut off and remove the fatty skin (discard). Remove the meat from the bone and chop roughly or shred.
- Grease and line the base and sides of the tin with baking paper. For the pastry, put the flours and salt into a large heatproof bowl. Put 150ml water and the lard into a pan and bring to the boil (see safety tip). Add the hot water/lard mixture gradually to the flour mixture in the bowl, mixing in with a table knife to bring the dough together. While the dough is still hot (but cool enough to handle), knead it briefly on a lightly floured work surface until smooth. Pinch off a third of the dough and set aside.
- Roll out the remaining dough into a circle about 1cm thick and put into the base of the tin. Work it up the sides of the tin using your fingers until it’s just reaching over the top, then smooth out – again using your fingers. Assemble the pie by layering the chicken and ham until everything is used up. Heat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4.
- To make the pie lid, roll the rest of the pastry until a little larger than the tin. Lightly beat the egg and brush around the top edge of the pastry, then pop on the lid. Press the lid on, trim any overhang, then crimp the edge. I use the classic finger and thumb on the outside edge and forefinger on the inside. Use the trimmings to make decorations, if you like, then stick them on the lid with beaten egg. Brush the top generously with the remaining beaten egg.
- Using a small knife, cut a cross in the middle of the lid and lift up the flaps to make a penny-size hole. Bake on the middle shelf for 1¼ hours. Check on the pie after half an hour. If it’s browning too quickly at the edges, cover loosely with foil. When cooked, remove to a cooling rack, leave for a few minutes in the tin, then gently remove to cool.
- Once cooled, pour the jelly stock into the hole in the top (warm the jelly if it’s turned solid). Leave the pie for a bit, then top it up again – the jelly will have settled slightly (you won’t need it all – see intro). Leave the pie to cool completely, then chill for a few hours or overnight to set the jelly. Serve the pie at room temperature with pickles and a green salad.
Kate says: “This pie is best served cold, but you could serve it warm with the heated jelly stock served alongside as a gravy. The recipe makes twice the amount of jelly you need – chill leftovers and serve hot as a gravy with sausages, pork or chicken.”
Timesaver tip: if you’re short of time, warm 300ml good quality chicken stock with ½ tbsp black treacle and stir in 4 gelatine leaves. You’ll also need about 250-300g chunks of cooked smoked ham for the filling. Start at step 3.
Prepare the ham hock up to the end of step 2. Leave to cool completely and keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Safety tip: Stir the lard and water mixture as the lard melts. If you neglect it and it gets too hot it can boil over explosively.
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