So now that we've made our pastry, what are we going to do with it? Well today's recipe is a savoury pie that is ideal for using up leftover chicken or turkey. You can also add ham, bacon or pancetta to it to make it taste really special. However, make sure you taste it before adding salt if you do add the ham. The pie is also really tasty heated up the next day for lunch.
Preheat the oven to 200°C, and prepare the pastry as before, leaving it in the fridge to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Next, chop up the onion and garlic and leave to one side.
Then chop up the carrot and mushrooms into cubes and again, leave to one side.
Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Once the onion has turned translucent and soft, add the mushrooms and cook until the juices start to run out. Now lower the heat on the hob and shred the leftover chicken into the pan. If, unlike me, you're organised, you can also chop the chicken into cubes beforehand and just add to the pan rather than shredding it in.
Let the chicken cook in the pan for about a minute, just to get the heat through it. Next, add in the chicken stock and increase the hob temperature until the stock starts to boil then reduce to a simmer.
Add in the peas, carrots and cream if you are using it. I think the cream adds a nice sweetness and a smoother texture to the sauce, but it's not necessary.
Stir through the cream and taste the sauce. Add the mustard and taste again. I taste a lot during the next few steps to make sure that I have the perfect tasting sauce.
Season with salt, pepper and herbs. Dried mixed herbs or herbes du provence are good, but if you can, use a mixture of fresh thyme and sage for a really delicious flavour.
Leave the chicken mixture to simmer over a low heat so that the sauce thickens a little while you prepare the pastry topping. Dust a clear and clean bit of counter space and remove the pastry from the fridge. Flatten out the pastry and roll it out first in one direction, then flip it over and turn it at right angles to its original position and roll it out again.
Repeat this until the pastry is large enough to cover the oven proof dish the pie will go into. You can check this by placing the dish on the pastry or just hovering it over it and ensuring that there is a good margin of pastry around it.
Time to check back on the chicken mixture. If it's not as thick as you would like it to be, mix 30g of flour or cornflour together with 150ml of water, ensuring that they are well integrated and pour a little at a time into the chicken mixture and bring to the boil. This should start to thicken the sauce. Just a note that before pouring in each bit of the flour-and-water mixture, make sure they are well mixed or you will get lumps of flour. Remember to taste the chicken after adding this thickener to ensure you still like the flavour.
Once the chicken mixture is how you would like it both in taste and texture, pour it into the oven proof dish and spread it out so that the chicken pieces are evenly distributed.
Move the dish over to beside where you have laid out the pastry. Now for the tricky bit, putting the pastry onto the dish. One way to do it is to carefully roll the pastry on to a piece of greaseproof paper and then roll it up onto the rolling pin and then carefully roll it out along the top of the dish. The other way is just to lift the pastry up very well and place it over the top of the dish. I did the latter in this case. Then cut or tear off the over hanging pastry and leave to one side. The remaining over hanging pastry can be folded along the edge of the pie.
If you have a pie blackbird, you can either insert it after the pie lid has been put on or lover the pastry around it letting the beak poke a hole in the pastry. I would use some of the leftover pastry to seal up around the blackbird and to seal any other gaps. The leftover pastry can also be used to decorate the top of the pie. This is something I like to have a little fun with.
Just before you put the pie into the oven, brush the pastry with a little milk or egg wash, this is not necessary but it does help the pastry to glaze nicely while cooking. Then put the pie into the oven for 20 mins or until the pastry turns a golden brown.
Serve the pie either on its own or with a side salad.
You can also make a vegetarian version of this pie by leaving out the chicken and adding more mushrooms, perhaps portobellos, and replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock. Let me know how you get on with this recipe or if there's anything I could've made a little clearer.