Spanish Chicken Pie

Sophie Conran cooks up a hearty Spanish chicken pie, flavoured with saffron and paprika and served with rice and spinach
Spanish Chicken Pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 100 g suet
  • 200 g self-raising flour
  • 4 tbsp white wine
  • large pinch salt
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the pie

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 small red onions, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 red peppers, cored, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 bulb fennel, sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp saffron
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 300 ml red wine
  • 1x 400 g tin canned chopped tomatoes
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 220 C

2. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole and brown the thighs over a medium high heat. Once they are slightly brown, remove them from the pan and reserve.

3. Add the butter, onion, celery, peppers, fennel and garlic to the pan, reduce the heat and cover, sweating the vegetables for 10-15 minutes.

4. Add the saffron and paprika and pour in the wine and tomatoes. Stir and season to taste with salt and pepper before returning the browned chicken thighs to the pan and simmering gently over a low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.

5. To make the pastry: sieve together the flour and salt, mix in the suet, then make a well in the middle and add the wine and beaten egg. Without overworking, stir it all together to form a stiff paste. You can add some flour if the paste is too slack, or a little water if it's too dry. Roll out the suet paste so that it is wide enough to completely cover your pie dish.

6. When the chicken stew has cooled slightly, take out the thighs and remove all the meat from the bones. Chop the meat into bite-sized chunks and return to the stew. Season and stir well.

7. Pour the stew into a pie dish and brush the edges of the dish with a little beaten egg. Cover the dish with the suet paste and trim off any loose edges. Brush the top of the pastry with more egg, and use the pastry trimmings to make any decorations you desire. Cut a hole in the top of the pie to let any steam out and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.

8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before serving with rice and buttered spinach.

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