A 6-Step Chicken Pie For Pi Day

One cannot live on pecan pies and pancakes alone, regrettably proven by my first year at university. So today, in honour of International Pi Day (3.14, in case anyone is confused), let’s make some real person food! This chicken pie is one of my absolute favourite dinners to make, and it’s even reasonably healthy – delicious, buttery pastry notwithstanding. It will feed four people with potatoes, or two very hungry ones without. Niall and I have definitely polished off a full one between us before.

To make this pie, you will need:

Some excellent music

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I was feeling all summery.

A delicious candle

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Some baking equipment

Scales, two mixing bowls, a rolling pin and a pie tin.

Scales, two mixing bowls, a rolling pin and a pie tin (I use a cake tin because I’m a failure of an adult).

260g plain flour
150g butter
10 tablespoons cold water
Pinch of salt
1 egg
Milk
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
100g cooked ham, sliced
200g green beans
1/2 a broccoli
300ml tub of creme fraiche
Tarragon, to taste

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And yourself

Here in body, if not entirely in mind.

Here in body, if not entirely in mind.

Alright, let’s do this!

1. First, we’re going to make pastry exactly like we did for the pecan pie, except this is a covered pie, so we’re making roughly twice as much. Put your flour, butter and salt into a large mixing bowl and gently rub it together with your fingertips until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. The finer you can get this bit, the more crumbly and yummy your pastry will be. Maybe. I might have made that up.

Like this!

Like this!

2. Add the water to this mixture slowly, stirring with a cold knife (or your hands, if you want to be really old school) until it binds together into a ball of dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and stick it in the fridge to chill for at least half an hour.

I wish I’d made a picture of some dough with sunglasses on, chilling. Anyway!

3. While the dough chills, make your filling. This is almost offensively easy. Chop your chicken, ham, broccoli and green beans into bite sized chunks and put them in your mixing bowl with the creme fraiche. Add a good teaspoon of tarragon, a pinch of salt and pepper and then stir together. Filling made. Well done you.

I never thought I'd eat anything this green.

I never thought I’d eat anything this green.

4. Remove your dough from the fridge and split it in two. At this point, preheat your oven to 200C. Roll out your first half until it is big enough to fill your pie tin. Fill your pie with your meat and vegetables.

IMG_24345. Dampen the edges of your pastry, then roll out your second half of dough and place it on top. Press down gently to ensure the lid is sealing the filling inside. Crimp the edges of your pie with a fork. Make some leaves from leftover pastry if you’re feeling super fancy.

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If you’re making your pie ahead of time, this is the point to cover it in tinfoil and stick it in the fridge. If not, plough on!

6. Lightly beat an egg with a dash of milk and brush your pastry generously with it. This will help it get nice and golden and crispy. Stick your pie in the oven for 30 minutes, then serve to the adoring “oooohs” of your friends.

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This is just a basic recipe, but you can switch up ingredients however much you fancy! If my boyfriend had less awful taste in food, I’d swap out half of the creme fraiche for cream cheese and add a tin of sweetcorn. An awesome dinner if you’re looking to get kids (or picky adults) to eat their greens. Enjoy!

Easy As Pie

Since I have quite a lot of time on my hands right now, I have been seriously, badly bitten by the baking bug. Those scones started something.

So, welcome to Saturday kitchen, pecan pie edition. I should point out that I have never made a pecan pie before, so this is going to be a bit of a kamikaze bake. But sure let’s see what happens. This recipe makes one 9″ pie.

These are the things you will need to make a pecan pie.

These are the things you will need to make a pecan pie.

For the pastry:

140g plain flour
75g butter
5 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:

1 cup light brown sugar
6 tablespoons golden syrup
50g butter
150g pecans
4 eggs
Vanilla extract

1. Put on some awesome music. This is very important for the overall baking experience.

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2. Put your flour and butter into a large mixing bowl and rub them together until they look like fine breadcrumbs. Nice and gentle, like we were with the scones.

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It should look roughly like this once you're finished.

It should look roughly like this once you’re finished.

3. Add your cold water, and stir it in with a cold knife until your dough binds together. Add more water if it’s too dry, but go sloooowly, dough gets soggy really easily. Once you have a good ball of dough, wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge to chill for at least half an hour.

I recommend filling this time with awesome kitchen dancing, to make up for eating an entire pie later.

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4. Preheat your oven to 180C/160C if your oven doubles as the gate to hell like mine. Put your brown sugar, butter and golden syrup in a pan. The amount of golden syrup is up to you, but I’m a big sweet tooth, so I went for 6 tablespoons. Turn on the heat until the sugar and butter has melted and you’re left with a thoroughly delicious smelling syrup. Let this boil for a minute, then turn off the heat. Leave for about 15 minutes to cool, because if you put raw eggs into boiling sugar, you’re gonna have a bad time.

Treat just for the chef: dunk a pecan into this syrupy mixture and enjoy.
Tip: don’t eat the whole pan like this, or burn your damn hands off with molten sugar.

Try to refrain from licking your screen.

Try to refrain from licking your screen.

5. Beat your eggs. If you skip this step and end up with pieces of fried egg in your filling, I will laugh at you. Stir your eggs into your syrup mixture. Keep the liquid moving until the eggs are totally incorporated.

6. Chop them pecans. I like big chunky bits in my pies, but you can do this as finely as you like. Add your chopped pecans and 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence to your filling.

Dem pecans.

Dem pecans.

7. Dust your work surface, a rolling pin, your hands, and anything else you fancy in flour. Take your dough out of the fridge and roll it out until it’s big enough to fill your pie tin. I say pie tin. I am still not a functioning grown up, so used a shallow cake tin. But if you have a pie tin, that would probably be better.

They see me rollin', they hatin'.

They see me rollin’, they hatin’.

8. Pour your mixture into your pie case. Try not to drool into it.

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9. Bake until it wobbles only slightly when shaken. Mine took about 30 mins.

10. Leave it to cool completely. Seriously, I mean completely. If you don’t leave it to cool, it’s not gonna set. This step is hard.

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If you want, you can use this time to laugh at the fact that your kitchen looks like this:

Lol.

Lol.

Serve your pie with a veritable bumload of cream.

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The results: This pie is sweet. Holy crap, it is sweet. And I say that as someone who likes to eat spoonfuls of golden syrup. But in little slices, it’s pretty damn delicious.

Also, despite my stern warnings in step 10, I totally cut my pie before it was cool, so it’s ever so slightly runny. Will leave longer next time. Maybe.

**Important pie update** It would appear that pecan pie falls into the same category as soup and chilli, in that it is better the next day. Today, the pie is completely delicious and I want to eat all of it with a fork.