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
A delicious candle
Some baking equipment
260g plain flour
10 tablespoons cold water
Pinch of salt
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
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.
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.
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.
5. 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.
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.
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!