Thursday, 4 November 2010


 I may have pointed out before, just once or twice, how much pie means to the members of this household.  I am always greeted with smiles, and shortly thereafter blissful munching, when I bring a pie to the dinner table.  This is my version of a classic chicken pie; no frills really, but easy to make and lip-smackingly rewarding to eat. Adding suet to the pastry makes for a gorgeously flaky, almost melting texture.  I have all but stopped glazing pies with egg-wash; dusting the pastry with flour instead makes for the pie-crust of my husband's dreams, soaking up, as it does, the chickeny juices and his beloved Henderson's Relish.

Old-Fashioned Chicken Pie

350g plain flour
90g suet
85g butter, diced
cold water, to bind pastry
400g chicken thigh meat, diced
1 tbsp flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 sausages, skinned
100ml chicken stock
1 tsp cornflour, slaked with 1 tbsp water

Make the pastry. Rub the suet and butter into the flour, season it well and bind it with some cold water.  This is made much, much easier if you can just bung it all in the processor and whizz, but no matter if not.  Roll out the pastry and line a pie dish.  trim the excess and roll out a lid for your pie.

Toss the chicken in the flour, then mix this with the chopped onion.  Squidge the sausagemeat together with a handful or so of fresh breadcrumbs, divide the mixture into six and roll each into a small ball.  Put the floured chicken, onion and sausagemeat balls into the pastry-lined dish.  Mix the sock and the slaked cornflour together and pour this liquid evenly over the ingredients in the dish.  Top with the reserved pastry lid, crimp the edges and dust lightly with flour.  Bake at 180°c for  25 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 150°c and cook for a further hour. 

Serve with a (preferably green and leafy) vegetable of your choice, tonight we had some simple steamed-and-buttered cabbage.  Perfect plus.

Cath xx

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