I am rather late in joining the bandwagon but March 14th was International Pi Day. No I haven’t spelt that wrong, it is referring to the mathematical constant. But bakers over the world rose to the challenge and made Pi day into Pie day. Some really managed to combine the two.
Anyway, this is my go-to pie. Creamy and tasty, full of meat, a bit of veg and packed with flavour. Importantly it is a proper pie – one with pasty all the way around, up, under and over. There are times and places for the other types but this is the gold standard!
I have used ready rolled puff pastry but if you have the time, the far superior option is to make you own – find the recipe here. I would double the given recipe for a pie this size.
I used part of a small value gammon joint. You could also used cured bacon loin or gammon steaks. As an alternative, cooking bacon is cheap and generally thick pieces. I prefer un-smoked but smoked would work fine too if that is your preference.
2 x 320g Ready Rolled Puff Pastry Sheets
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Sea Salt Flakes
350g Chicken Breasts
1 Tbsp Garlic Paste
4 Tbsp Plain Flour
2 Tbsp Mustard Powder
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Dried or 2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme
Take 2 x 320g Ready Rolled Puff Pastry Sheets out of the fridge and leave aside to warm slightly – they crack to much when unrolled otherwise.
Chop 2 Onions and add them to a large based pan with 40g Butter, 1 Tbsp Olive Oil and 1 Tbsp Sea Salt Flakes. Cook for 5 or so minutes on a medium heat until the onions start to soften. Meanwhile…
Dice 350g Chicken Breast and 350g Gammon into 1cm-ish size cubes. Add them to the onions and cook for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile…
Chop 350g Mushrooms into a size similar to the chicken and gammon and add it to the pan. Continue to cook until everything is cooked through.
Add 1 Tbsp Garlic Paste, 4 Tbsp Plain Flour, 2 Tbsp Mustard Powder, 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard and 1 Tbsp Dried or 2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme to the pan. Stir to combine then add 600ml Milk and stir thoroughly until the sauce has thickened. Check the seasoning and add more salt/mustard/herbs as you desire.
Set the pie filling aside whist rolling the pastry. It helps for it to have cooled just a little so it is easier to pour and handle.
Pre-heat the oven 220c or equivalent.
Unroll one of the puff pastry sheets on a floured surface. Make sure it is larger than your pie dish (mine is 27cm round) taking into account the need to cover the inner edges. I rolled my sheet out a little wider to achieve this. Lay the sheet into the pie dish and gently press it down into the edges. Leave any excess pastry hanging over the edges for now.
Fill the pie base with the slightly cooled filling.
Unroll the second sheet of puff pastry and after again checking that it is sufficiently sized, lay it over to form the top of the pie top.
Press the edges of the pastry together with your fingers then use a knife to slice off the excess pastry. This is my favorite bit. I find it oddly satisfying.
Decorate the pie crust however you wish – I went with simple forked edges and a cross (I was in a rush!). There are loads of design inspiration ideas on Instagram. Search the hashtag #piecrust – my favourite accounts are arlodesigns and lokokitchen.
Beat 1 Egg and use it to glaze the top of the pie.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Give it a few minutes to settle before serving.