Mini chicken, sherry and herb pies
- July 2016
- Makes 12 pies
- Hands-on time 50 min, oven time 30-35 min
Bursting with chicken, dry sherry and tarragon, these versatile mini pies – made with homemade pastry – are perfect for dinner, parties or picnics.
- 24.9g (12.3g saturated)
- 34.9g (0.9g sugars)
For the filling
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 20g unsalted butter
- 2 banana shallots, very finely chopped
- 90g smoked pancetta, chopped
- 6 skinless and boneless British free-range chicken thighs, cut into 2cm pieces
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 150ml dry sherry (we used oloroso)
- 100ml double cream
- Bunch fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- Bunch fresh curly parsley, finely chopped
- Juice ½ lemon
For the pastry
- 500g plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 medium free-range egg, plus 1 egg, beaten and mixed with a little double cream, to glaze
- 80g unsalted butter
- 80g lard
You’ll also need…
- 12-hole non-stick muffin tin
- For the pastry, put the flour and salt into a large heatproof bowl, make a well in the centre, crack in the egg and cover it with flour. Put the butter and lard in a medium pan with 200ml water and bring to the boil.
- Pour the hot water mixture onto the flour, mixing quickly with a table knife to start to bring the pastry together. When it’s cool enough to handle, use your hands to work the pastry together until smooth. Leave to cool, covered in a tea towel, until just warm or room temperature.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the shallots and fry for 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the pancetta and fry on a medium-high heat for 5 minutes until it starts to colour. Turn down the heat, then add the chicken, flour and garlic, stirring until coated.
- Fry for a few minutes more, then add the sherry and cook for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid. Pour in the cream and bring to a simmer for another 5 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked. Turn off the heat, stir in the herbs and lemon juice, then season. Cool the filling completely.
- Cut off a quarter of the dough, wrap in cling film and set aside. Divide the rest of the dough into 12 equal pieces and use to line the individual muffin holes as mini pie shells. The pastry only needs to be as thick as a £2 coin, but make sure it comes just above the top of the tray lip. Roll out the reserved pastry to the thickness of a £2 coin. Using a 7cm pastry cutter or an upturned glass the same diameter as the muffin hole, stamp out 12 circles, re-rolling as needed. You can use any leftover pastry trimmings to cut out decoration for the pies, if you want.
- Divide the chicken filling evenly among the pastry cases in the muffin tray. Brush the edges with the egg and cream glaze, then cover with the pastry lids and glaze the tops. Use a fork to decorate the edges of the pies (this helps to seal them as well). Use a skewer to poke a small hole in the top of each pie, glaze again, then chill uncovered in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
- Bake the pies for 30-35 minutes until golden, cooked through and the sauce is bubbling. Cover the tops with foil if the pies start to brown too much. Serve the pies warm or at room temperature.
The pie filling makes enough for 2 batches to avoid wasting ingredients. Either make double the amount of pastry or freeze the extra filling. It will keep for up to 1 month in a sealed container.
Make the pastry up to 24 hours in advance and keep in the fridge, wrapped in cling film. Bring to room temperature before using. You can prepare the pies to the end of step 5 before baking. Cover in cling film and keep in the fridge for 24 hours. Cook from chilled. The cooked pies will keep in the fridge for 48 hours.
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