Chicken and vegetable pot pie
- April 2013
- Serves 6
- Takes 2½ hours to make, 30-35 min to cook
Debbie Major makes the ultimate chicken pie using a whole poached chicken, plus the resulting stock to make the sauce – it’s an impressive Sunday lunch centrepiece.
- 57.5g (30.5g saturated)
- 72.2g (9.5g sugars)
- 1.75kg free-range chicken, any giblets and string removed
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- 1 large thyme sprig
- 1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
- 350g baby new potatoes, such as charlotte, scrubbed or scraped clean
- 250g baby carrots, trimmed and halved if large
- 150g baby leeks, cut into 2.5cm pieces
- 150g frozen petit pois, thawed
- 75g butter
- 200g baby button mushrooms
- 45g plain flour
- 150ml double cream
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
For the pastry crust
- 350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- ½ tsp salt
- 90g chilled butter
- 90g chilled lard
- 1 large free-range egg, beaten
- Put the chicken in a snugly fitting saucepan with the onion, sliced carrot, celery, bay leaves, thyme sprig and peppercorns (if the pan is too large, the stock will be too watery). Cover with about 1.5 litres water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, then turn off the heat. Leave for 1 hour.
- Lift the chicken out of the stock on to a chopping board and leave until cool enough to handle. Pour the stock into a bowl, clean out the pan, then strain the stock back into the pan and bring to the boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 10-12 minutes or until just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Add the baby carrots and simmer for 8 minutes. Remove to the bowl. Add the leeks, simmer for 4 minutes, then remove and add to the bowl. Return the chicken stock to the boil and boil rapidly for 20-30 minutes until reduced to 400ml. Set aside.
- Break the chicken into small chunky pieces, discarding the skin and bones. Add to the bowl of vegetables with the thawed peas.
- Melt 25g of the butter in a medium pan, add the mushrooms and fry for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl. Add the remaining butter, melt, then stir in the flour and cook gently for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the reduced chicken stock, then bring to the boil, stirring, and leave to simmer gently for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream, chopped thyme and nutmeg. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Stir the sauce into the ingredients in the bowl, adjust the seasoning to taste, then spoon the mixture into a 2 litre ovenproof pie dish, 4-5cm deep with a wide rim. Push a pie funnel into the centre and leave to cool.
- For the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a food processor, add the butter and lard, then pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 3-3½ tbsp cold water and process until the mixture starts to come together into a ball. Turn out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth.
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is 2.5cm larger than the top of the pie dish, then cut a small cross in the centre. Cut a thin strip from around the edge of the pastry, brush it lightly with beaten egg and press it on to the rim of the dish. Brush this with a little more egg, carefully lift the pastry lid on to the dish so that the pie funnel pokes through the cross, then press the edges together to seal. Trim away any excess pastry and crimp the edge between your fingers to give an attractive finish.
- Brush the top with beaten egg and chill for 20 minutes or until ready to serve. Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Brush the pie once more with beaten egg and make a few groups of little scores here and there (not all the way through) to resemble chicken’s feet. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling hot, covering the top loosely with foil if it begins to get too dark.
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