Chicken Pie with Ham and Peas

Make this rich creamy chicken pie, topped with pastry or mash, that the family will love
By Rachel Allen
Chicken Pie with Ham and Peas
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 1x2.2 kg chicken
  • 2 carrots, halved
  • 1 stick celery, halved
  • 1 onion, halved
  • sprig thyme
  • 1 litres water, or light chicken stock
  • 250 ml cream
  • roux, (2 tbsp butter mixed with 3 tbsp plain flour)
  • 400 g cooked ham, chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 450 g uncooked peas
  • 6 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 450 g button mushrooms, cut in half and tossed in 25g butter in a pan on a high heat for 4 minutes until golden
  • 2 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 400 g puff or flaky pastry, rolled ½ cm thick or,
  • 1.7 kg mashed potato

For the egg wash (if using pastry)

  • 1 egg, beaten

Method

1. Place the chicken in a large pan or flame-proof casserole dish.

2. Add the carrots, celery, onion, thyme, parsley and the water or stock. Season with salt and pepper and cover.

3. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked. You will know when it is cooked as the leg will feel quite loose when you pull it from the carcass. Take the chicken out of the pan and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

4. Remove the vegetables and herbs from the liquid in the pan and pour in the cream.

5. Bring to the boil and then whisk in some roux - about 2 to 3 tablespoons, but start with 1 tablespoon - until it has thickened slightly. While you are adding the roux the liquid must keep boiling in order to thicken.

6. Remove the meat from the chicken carcass and chop roughly.

7. Place the chicken meat in a large pie dish about 25x35cm, then add the chopped ham, peas (can be straight from the freezer), eggs, mushrooms and the chopped tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

8. Allow the filling to cool before covering with the dough.

9. Preheat the oven to 230C/gas 8.

10. For the puff or flaky pastry top: cut the dough to the same size as the top of the pie dish and arrange on top, making a hole in the centre to allow steam to escape.

11. Brush the pastry with the egg wash to give it a nice glaze.

12. Cook the pie in the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 190C/gas 5 and cook for about another 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

Variations
For a mashed potato top: arrange the mashed potato on top of the chicken mixture and lightly score the top. Place in a pre-heated oven of 180C/gas 4 and cook for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling hot.

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