This pie will serve 4 people.
For the pastry You can cheat a bit and use A 2 lb, or 900 g, packet of ready rolled puff pastry sheets, thawed. Alternatively use my plain, unsweetened, shortcrust pastry.
For the filling you will need:
- 2 large, skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces.
- 8 oz, 250 g, mushrooms wiped with damp kitchen paper to clean them, then broken into small pieces.
- 6 oz, 175 g, frozen peas, thawed.
- 4 tbsps of white wine (optional).
- a quarter of a pint, or 150 ml carton of fresh double cream.
For the stock you will need:
- a quarter of a pint, or 150 ml, of boiling water.
- half a chicken oxo cube.
- 1 tbsp of olive oil for frying.
- a few leaves of fresh tarragon, chopped.
- a small bunch of freshly chopped parsley.
- a little milk to glaze.
You will need a medium sized, deep, 2 pint, or 1 litre, capacity oven-proof pie or casserole dish.
- Begin by pre-heating your oven to gas Mark 6, 400 f, 200 c, 180 fan.
- Wipe the mushrooms with dampened kitchen paper to clean them then break them into small pieces.
To make the stock:
Crumble half a chicken oxo cube into a small jug and add the boiling water. Stir well and leave on one side.
To cook the filling:
- Fry the bite-sized chicken pieces in the olive oil in a large saucepan or frying pan for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent them from sticking. By this time they will be firm to the touch and lightly brown.
- Remove the chicken onto a large plate with a slotted spoon.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes until slightly soft, stirring well.
- Put the chicken back into the pan with the mushrooms, add the stock and wine and boil for 1 minute.
- Now, add the Peas, cream, chopped tarragon and parsley to the pan, season with a little salt and black pepper, and cook gently, but do not boil or the cream will curdle, stirring well, for about 2 minutes.
To make the pie:
- Make my plain, shortcrust pastry and roll it out on a floured worktop. Alternatively, Lay your puff pastry sheets out on a lightly floured worktop.
- Turn your pie or casserole dish upside down on top of the pastry to check that you can feel about 3-quarters of an inch or 2 cm or so of pastry all around the outside. If you need to join the pastry sheets so that you have enough, dampen the edges with a little cold water and press them together well.
- Now, spoon the prepared filling into the pie or casserole dish.
- Dampen the rim with cold water and lay over your pastry or pastry sheets to form a lid, pressing it firmly against the top edge of the dish and trimming away any unwanted pastry with a small sharp knife.
- Make several holes in the top of the pie with the point of the knife to let out the steam during cooking.
- Brush all over with a little milk to glaze.
- Bake in your pre-heated oven for between 25 to 35 minutes, the puff pastry will take a little longer than the shortcrust, or until the pastry crust is risen and firm to the touch.
Serve immediately with your chosen green leafy vegetables and creamy mashed potato.