There is something so comforting about a traditional British chicken and mushroom pie with memories of school days and family lunches. Like it’s close cousin a Steak and Kidney Pie, British Chicken and Mushroom Pie is part of the fabric of British food.
This recipe sees the addition of leeks and with a good grating of nutmeg, this truly is an indulgent family meal which will warm you up on a cold night. This can be made in advance and popped in the oven for 25minutes making this a great option for busy families.
This recipe will serve four portions.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 chicken breasts, skin and bone removed
150g of chestnut or large button mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 leeks thinly sliced (using some of the green parts as well)
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
50g of salted butter
2 tablespoons of plain flour, plus extra for dusting
300ml of full fat milk
200ml of fresh chicken stock (supermarkets sell this in plastic tubs)
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
A large pinch of white pepper
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
small handful fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
500g ready-made short-crust pastry
1 large organic free-range egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/400F/Gas 6.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the chicken and fry until the chicken begins to turn white.
Add the mushrooms and continue to fry until the chicken is golden-brown.
Remove the chicken and mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Add the onion, leeks and garlic to the same pan and fry for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Remove from the heat and set aside with the chicken and mushrooms.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for about three minutes, stirring constantly until it has formed a thick smooth paste (this is called a roux).
Mix the milk and stock together in a jug, then add the nutmeg, white pepper and salt, to taste. Pour the liquid slowly into the flour mixture, whisking all the time until smooth. Simmer over a gentle heat, stirring constantly, for about five minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
Stir in the chopped parsley (if using) and pour the sauce over the chicken and mushroom mixture. Mix well, then spoon into a pie dish and leave until completely cool.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is the thickness of a pound coin. Brush the edges of the pie dish with beaten egg, lay the pastry on top, press down the edges and trim.
Make two or three slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape, glaze with the remaining beaten egg and then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden-brown on top.
Serve with glazed carrots, made by gently cooking 3-4 roughly chopped carrots in a saucepan with the lid on, with a large knob of butter, salt and pepper, and a little dried thyme, for approx. 12-15 mins, until the carrots are tender, taking care not to burn them.