Chicken, chorizo and cider pot pies
- November 2011
- Serves 6
- Takes 40 minutes to make, 1 hour 30-40 minutes to cook, plus cooling and chilling
This classic chicken pie with chorizo and cider recipe makes a perfect winter warmer on Bonfire Night.
- 50.3g (24.6g saturated)
- 50.8g (7g sugar)
- 1 large (about 1.7kg) free-range chicken (to yield about 650g meat)
- 500ml medium-dry cider
- 1 onion, sliced into 8 wedges
- Small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked, plus a handful of sprigs
- 8 black peppercorns
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- Knob of butter
- 2 leeks, thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- Grated zest of 1 small lemon
- 150g cooking chorizo, sliced
- Small handful of fresh tarragon, leaves chopped
- 150ml double cream
For the pastry
- 300g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- ½ tsp salt
- 75g lard
- 75g butter
- 2 medium free-range eggs
- Iced water
- Put the chicken in a flameproof casserole or large saucepan over a medium heat. Pour over the cider, then add the onion, thyme sprigs, peppercorns and a good pinch of sea salt. Top up with enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken and set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove and discard the skin. Pull the meat from the bones and set aside. Pass the poaching liquid through a sieve, discarding the solids, then return to the casserole and bubble for 30 minutes until reduced to 1 litre. Leave to cool.
- Heat the oil and butter in a sauté pan, then add the leeks and onion. Season, then fry over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring, until softened and starting to take on a bit of colour. Stir through the flour and cook for a minute. Spoon into a large bowl, mix in the thyme leaves and lemon zest, then leave to cool. ?4. Add the chorizo to the pan and fry until starting to crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and leave to cool while you make the pastry. Discard the chorizo oil.
- Sift the flour and salt into a food processor or large bowl. Add the lard and butter, then blend quickly or rub in with your fingertips until the mixture has the consistency of fine crumbs. Add 1 egg, whisked, and enough iced water (2-3 tbsp) to bring the dough together in large clumps. Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly to form a smooth pastry. Shape into a flat rectangle, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/ fan180°C/gas 6. Fold the chicken, chorizo, tarragon, cream and 200ml of the poaching liquid through the cooled leek and onion mixture. Season, then spoon into 6 x 300ml pie dishes or ramekins.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the pastry out to the thickness of a pound coin. Cut out 6 discs a little larger than the pie dishes (about 12cm each). Beat the remaining egg and brush a little onto the rims of the dishes. Drape the pastry carefully over the filling and seal the edges. Trim away any excess pastry and use to make leaves to decorate the top, if you like, attaching with a little beaten egg. Brush the entire surface of the pastry with egg and cut a steam-hole in the centre of each pie top.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden and the filling is piping hot in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Use the leftover poaching liquid to make a rich base for a soup or casserole.
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