This is the ultimate easy-peasy pie to impress your mates with on a cold autumn weekend evening, with a few glasses of wine and a good-old catch up. Or even better, you could give your Mum a break from the usual Sunday-roast grind by rustling this up for her in no time, just tell her to put her feet up and you can have this little bad-boy ready within the hour.
A couple of week’s a go on a girls holiday to Sherwood Forest, where we stayed in a luxury log cabin for a week, my good friend Jodie House got to work in the kitchen, whilst the rest of us frolicked in the hot-tub sipping fine wine. She said she didn’t need a hand – ‘she got this’. So, we left her to it, and within the hour a feast was served, KUDOS Jodie – just what we needed after a long afternoon foraging in the woodlands at Go-Ape. Just perfect.
You can serve the pie with a number of options, but by request, Jodie went for a cheesy mash potato, a sweet potato mash, stir-fried buttered mange-tout and pickled red cabbage. Trust me, it was a taste sensation, so please, please try it!
Overall time to make this is about 1 hour, and this recipe serves 6 hungry log-loving forest ramblers. Warning: copious compliments guaranteed – so be ready!
what you need:
- 4 chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper, diced into 2cm chunks
- knob of butter
- olive oil
- bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced
- 200g button mushrooms, (any big ones halved)
- 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
- 2 tsp English mustard
- 2 heaped tbsp creme fraiche
- 300ml good chicken stock
- bunch of fresh thyme, leaves removed and stalks discarded
- 1/3 nutmeg, for grating
- 1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry
- 1 free-range egg
what to do:
- pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6
- heat the butter and a glug of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, and cook the chicken for about 3 minutes
- add the spring onions, mushrooms and 1 heaped tbsp of flour and stir
- add the English mustard, creme fraiche and chicken stock into the pan and stir well
- add the thyme leaves and a good grating of nutmeg and leave the creamy chicken mixture to simmer whilst you prep the pastry…
- lightly dust a flat surface with flour and roll out the pastry so it’s large enough to cover the inside diameter of your pie dish (we didn’t have a rolling pin so had to think outside the box – see image below)
- use a knife to gently score (be careful not to cut-through) the pastry – get creative, criss crosses look nice but any pattern would work, just be gentle!
- after 5-10 mins of simmering, remove the chicken mixture from the heat, and transfer to your pie dish (this must be an oven-proof baking dish, and large enough to serve 6)
- cover the filling mixture with the sheet of pastry, tucking in the edges
- beat the egg and brush it over the pie – we didn’t have an egg brush, so we used a few sprigs of thyme stalks with the leaves on to coat the pie (see image below), which also added a nice flavour!
- place the pie on the top shelf of the oven, and cook until golden and crisp (about 15-20 mins max)
- serve in the middle of the table with your chosen accompaniments (as recommended above) and watch your mates dig in with sheer delight!