My chicken and mushroom pie is proper comfort food. Encased in buttery puff pastry, and made extra special with a sprinkling of bacon, it's a family mealtime favourite.
Apparently it's British pie week (4th-10th March).
Started by Jus-Rol in 2007, this is one of those national days I can totally get behind. However, I do have a bone to pick with you Jus-Rol.
Why the heck do you only sell pastry sheets in rectangles? Rectangles that are slightly too small for a regular pie dish.
Meaning that :
a. I have to Frankenstein two sheets together
which means that:
b. I have a seam running down the middle of my pie
c: I have to trim loads of pastry off the edges
which results in:
d. Pastry getting thrown away
or even worse:
e: I cook the shreds of pastry just so Chris and I can greedily stand and eat it in the kitchen!
If Dr Oetker can make round, ready-rolled icing for cakes, you can surely make round ready-rolled puff pastry for pies (although I do like square/rectangular pies too. So don't stop doing the regular stuff). Okay, rant over.
So I'm using 3 sheets of pastry for this pie. One-and-a-half for the base of the pie (Chris feels short-changed if my pie only has a pastry lid) and one-and-a-half for the top of my pie.
The filling is a lovely creamy chicken and mushroom filling with bacon. Not too much sauce - just enough that it tastes saucy, without the whole thing collapsing when you try to serve it up.
First we blind bake the pastry base. Whilst that's baking we seal chicken pieces in a pan, then remove from the pan and soften some onions in butter. Add flour, salt, pepper, and thyme and stir to coat the onions. Add in stock a little at a time whilst stirring, then stir in milk and let the sauce thicken whilst stirring often:
Next we slice up mushrooms and add them into the pan with the sealed chicken and some cooked bacon. Stir in a squeeze of lemon juice to balance the flavours, and spoon the chicken mixture out into the baked pie shell. Brush the edges with egg wash and top with pastry, then egg wash the top and pierce a couple of holes to let steam escape:
Cook for about 25 minutes until golden brown:
One of the things I love about this pie is that no-one else in my house likes mushrooms. So as we're sitting around the table, I get all the mushrooms transferred to my plate.
I did give them the option of having something else for tea (my pie!). But it's pie.
No-one turns down pie in my house.
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Chicken and Mushroom Pie Recipe
- 3 x 320g/11oz rolls of ready-rolled puff pastry
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 8 strips of cooked bacon - chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter
- 3 chicken breasts cut into small chunks
- 1 large onion peeled and finely chopped
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 2 sprigs of thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
- 6 tbsp (50g) plain/all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups (300ml) hot chicken stock - - water plus 2 stock cubes is fine
- 1 ¼ cups (300ml) milk - - half or full fat
- ½ lb (240g) chestnut mushrooms - sliced
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 egg - lightly whisked with a fork
- Preheat the oven to 200c/400f. Unroll the 3 pastry rolls. Slice one of the pieces of pastry in half length-ways. Attach a cut piece to one of the whole pieces of pastry - so you have a larger piece of pastry that will totally cover the base of the pie dish. Repeat with the other piece of pastry - so you have two large pastry sheets altogether.
- Line a 26cm (10.2") diameter pie dish with the prepared one-and-a-half rolls of the puff pastry. Trim the edges, leaving a 1-2cm overhang, as the pastry will shrink back slightly.
- Prick the base of the pastry several times with a fork. Line the pastry with baking parchment so that it completely covers the pastry. I find it easier to scrunch up the parchment first, and then un-scrunch it, so it fits into the shape of the pie dish better.
- Fill the pie with baking beans (or dried beans or uncooked rice) and place in the oven to 'blind bake' for 10 minutes. This helps to prevent the pie having a soggy bottom.
- Take out of the oven and put to one side. When cool enough to handle, remove the baking beans and parchment paper.
- Now start on the filling. Add the oil to the pan and fry the chicken pieces in the oil for 5-6 minutes until sealed. Remove from the pan.
- Add the butter and onions to the pan and turn down the heat to medium-high. Cook for 3 minutes, until the onions start to soften.
- Add the salt, pepper, thyme and flour to the pan and stir until the onions are coated in the flour.
- Add the stock, a splash at a time, whilst stirring with a balloon whisk, until all of the stock is used. Adding it in a splash at a time, whilst stirring, will ensure you have not lumps. Add the milk and continue to stir until the sauce starts to bubble and thickens.
- Add the mushrooms, chicken, bacon and lemon juice and stir. Turn off the heat (don’t worry, the mushrooms will cook through in the oven).
- Fill the pie base with the chicken mixture. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash, then top the pie with the remaining piece of pastry. Pinch the edges to seal.
- Trim off any excess pastry (you can using the trimming sot make little pie decorations such as leaves if you like), then brush the top with more egg wash and pierce a couple of small holes in the top of the pie with a sharp knife.
- Place back in the oven (still at 200c/400f) and cook for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Can I make it ahead?Yes - make and cook the whole pie ahead of time, but cook for about 5 minutes less than the stated time. Then cool, cover and refrigerate the pie. When you want to reheat the pie, take it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you put it in the oven (to take off a little of the chill). Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Cover the pie in foil, and bake for about 25 minutes - until hot throughout (stick a knife or skewer in the middle to check it's piping hot). Then remove the foil and cook for a further 5 minutes to crisp up the pastry. .
Can I freeze it?Yes - make and cook the whole pie ahead of time, but cook for about 5 minutes less than the stated time. Then cool, cover and freeze the pie. Defrost thoroughly in the refrigerator, then as above, take it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you put it in the oven (to take off a little of the chill). Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Cover the pie in foil, and bake for about 25 minutes - until hot throughout (stick a knife or skewer in the middle to check it's piping hot). Then remove the foil and cook for a further 5 minutes to crisp up the pastry. .
Why do I need to blind bake the pie?The pie isn't in the oven long enough to completely cook the puff pastry on the base of the pie before the top starts to burn. Blind baking the pastry will ensure the pie doesn't have a soggy bottom. .
Baking beansYou can buy baking beans, but I use a mixture of dried beans and rice, which I think works just as well. You can't use the beans and rice in a recipe once you've used them as baking beans, so instead I wait for them to cool, then store them in a jar. They can then be re-used as baking beans many times. .
I don't like mushroomsYou can leave out the mushrooms and add more bacon. Or you can replace the mushrooms with leeks (sliced raw leeks are fine) or some sauteed carrots or chunks of par-cooked potato. .
Nutritional Information is per serving.
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