Pie is an occasional weekend treat in my house; mainly because I prefer to make my own pastry and that makes it perfect for a weekend when there is time. I prefer to make and eat savoury pies so the rare occasions I have time that is what I tend to make. Last weekend was unseasonably wet and windy and I holed up at home on Saturday evening to make pie; we had chicken and mushrooms so that became the pie. You can make the pastry ahead and freeze it but I am never that organized plus I like the whole process of making it from scratch at the time. You can buy pre-made pastry, which reduces the amount of work required. Pick one made with butter as it tastes better.
I make the pie filling first so that it has time to cook and cool before starting on the pastry. This pie was made for two greedy people but you can easily scale up the filling to make it for more. This amount of pastry easily covers a large pie dish and would work well for smaller pies if you prefer individual pies. If you need to increase the amount of pastry keep the proportions the same and it will work.
250g chicken (breast or thigh) – chopped into 2cm cubes
125g fresh mushrooms sliced (whatever you prefer or have to hand)
20g dried wild mushrooms
250 ml boiling water
Small onion finely chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
125g plain flour
125g chilled diced butter
50 ml iced water
1 egg mixed with 1tbsp milk
The dried wild mushrooms give this a good depth of flavour so I keep the seasoning very simple.
1. Add dried mushrooms to jug and add 250 ml of boiling water. Soak for at least 20 minutes.
2. Drain mushrooms and reserve soaking liquid as stock for pie filling.
3. Chop wild mushrooms finely.
4. Warm the olive oil in a pan add onion and soften.
5. Add the chopped chicken and colour surface.
6. Add the sliced fresh mushrooms and mix through.
7. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes.
8. Add wild mushrooms and soaking liquid and stir through.
9. Add mustard, stir through and season to taste.
10. Bring to simmer and cook until chicken is tender.
11. Allow to cool.
The pastry is a basic rough puff pastry. You can replace it with premade/frozen puff pastry if you wish. Pick one made with butter as it tastes better. I start the pastry off while the filling is cooking.
1. Make a well in flour.
2. Add butter and salt to flour.
3. Work butter and salt into flour gradually using fingertips,
4. When flour is grainy add iced water slowly to form a dough you may not need all of it. Do not overwork dough.
5. Roll into ball, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.
6. Flour work surface.
7. Roll out pastry into 20 x 40 cm rectangle.
8. Fold the two sides into middle and give it a quarter turn.
9. Roll out again and fold as before.
10. Wrap in cling film and put in fridge for 30 minutes.
11. Repeat the rolling and folding process another 2 times. Making a total of four turns.
12. Wrap in cling film and return to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
You can make individual ones but I prefer one big pie. Adapt the process below accordingly if you want to make individual pies.
1. Add cool pie filling to pie dish, season to taste and then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is larger than pie dish and about 3mm thick.
3. Brush edge of pie dish with egg wash and cover with pastry. Tuck pastry in around filling and then press against edge of dish to form a seal.
4. Cut off excess pastry with scissors or a sharp knife and brush top of pie with egg wash.
5. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
7. You can use excess pastry to decorate pie; rollout to 1.5 mm if you want to do this. Cut leaves or crescents with a sharp knife. Arrange around edge of pie. Brush with remaining egg wash.
8. Use a sharp knife to cut a small hole in centre of pie.
9. Bake for 30 minutes.
Serve with green vegetables or salad.