I first made this pie many years ago and it was with chicken and morels and wild garlic mash. I have also done it with cep mushrooms or leftover ham hock for a chicken and ham pie. Feel free to experiment with fillings.
Recipe courtesy of
1 whole chicken, free range if possible
1 whole leek, slit in the middle and washed
½ tbsp fresh or dried thyme
2 cloves of garlic crushed with the back of a knife
400g chestnut mushrooms, washed and quartered
1l strong chicken/bullion stock hot
1tbsp Dijon mustard
Small bunch tarragon
200ml crème fraiche
500g puff pastry
2 egg yolks, beaten with 2 tsp milk (to make an egg wash)
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In a deep pot big enough to fit the chicken, leeks, garlic &, thyme pour over the hot stock cover with a lid and cook in a preheated oven at 130C for two hours. Remove from oven and cool.
Take the chicken from the stock make sure to drain off all juices. Pass the cooking liqueur through a sieve into a clean pan and reduce by half. Then remove and discard skin. Now remove the chicken from the bone it should simply pull away. Tear the chicken in to thumb-sized chunks rather than chopping it – I feel you get a far better pie this way. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a saucepan over a low-medium heat. Add the mushrooms, and cook for 5-10 mins until soft, then season well. Add the flour and stir to coat the mushrooms. Slowly add the reduced poaching liquid, stirring until you have a thick sauce. Finish with the crème fraiche & mustard.
Now chop the tarragon and fold the chicken into the sauce, cool slightly then mix in the tarragon. Check seasoning, then spoon the mixture into your pie dish (or dishes)
Set your oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7.
Roll the pastry out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Cut off a strip the same width as the lip of the pie dish. Wet the lip and press this strip onto it. Brush the strip with water and lay the rest of the pastry on top. Press the pastry lid onto the pastry strip, then cut off the excess. Crimp the edges and use the remaining pastry to decorate the top of the pie. Make three small slits in the pastry near the middle to let the steam escape. Brush the top with the egg mixture and bake in the oven for 20 -25 mins, until the pastry is a deep golden colour and puffed up. Serve immediately with mash and some fresh green vegetables.
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