Chicken and Tarragon Pie
Chicken pies can be dry and lacking in flavour. I poach my chicken breasts briefly before cooking this pie – the chicken is moist and flavoursome. This is an absolutely delicious pie – ideal for midweek family eating and equally good enough to serve in the evening to friends.
Requires a square 8 inch loose bottomed cake tin or 23 cm pie dish or 2 x 20cm pies made on plates.
Make the pastry- In a food processor blitz the flour, salt and fats to the breadcrumb stage then gradually add the chilled water and continue with the motor running until a ball of dough is formed. Divide in two then wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least half an hour.
In a saucepan bring the white wine and stock to a gentle simmer then add the chicken breasts, cover with a lid and poach for 15 minutes on the lowest heat. Remove from the liquid, allow to cool slightly then chop into 2cm chunks then set aside.
In a large frying pan heat the oil and butter then fry the onion gently for 10 minutes until golden and soft. Add the finely sliced mushrooms and chopped wild mushrooms. Fry for a few minutes only before adding the butter, flour, mustard powder, mace and salt and pepper. Stir for a minute or two to cook the flour then add sufficient liquid from the stock pan little by little until you have a thick sauce (you will need about 150-200ml stock). Transfer this mixture to a large bowl then add the spring onions, peas, fresh tarragon leaves, 50ml of the cream and the poached chopped chicken. Stir thoroughly and leave to go completely cold. The filling should be quite thick.
Use the frying pan to reduce slightly the remaining stock and wine then add 30ml cream, stir, season and taste then serve with the pie. If the sauce needs thickening simply mix 1 tbsp cornflour with cold water to a thin paste then stir into the hot sauce.
To make the pie – Roll out the pastry then line the greased tin. Put the cold filling inside with a pie blackbird if your pie tin is deep then roll out the pastry lid, dampen the edges then place the lid over and seal the edges and decorate.
Egg wash the pie then chill for half an hour.
Egg wash again then bake for 40-45 minutes at 200 degrees until the pie is golden.
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