Ballymaloe chicken pie

Recipe by:

Pure comfort food, there is nothing quite as welcoming as a homemade pie and this chicken pie is a staple at our table

Ballymaloe chicken pie

SERVES

6

PEOPLE

PREP TIME

40

MINUTES

COOKING TIME

160

MINUTES

CUISINE

Irish

COURSE

Main

Method

  1. Put 5cm of water or chicken stock in a heavy casserole and add the vegetables and bouquet garni.

  2. Lay the chicken on top. Add a sprig of tarragon if available and cover with a tight-fitting lid.

  3. Bring to the boil and then transfer to a moderate oven, 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Cook for one to two hours, depending on the size of the bird. Watch that it does not boil dry. The water should be deliciously rich and may be a little fatty.

  4. Meanwhile fry the flat mushrooms in a little butter on a hot pan, season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sweat the onions in butter in a covered casserole until soft.

  5. Cut the cooked bacon into cubes. When the chicken is cooked remove from the casserole onto a large platter and carve the flesh. De-grease cooking liquid.

  6. Arrange the sliced chicken in layers in a deep pie dish, covering each layer with bacon, onions and mushrooms, add peas if using (no need to cook).

  7. Next, make the sauce. Make the roux by melting the butter and cook the flour in it for two minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in 600ml  of the strained and de-greased cooking liquid and the dry white wine into a saucepan and bring to the boil, whisking all the time.  Add the cream. Bring to the boil again. Taste and correct the seasoning.

  8. Allow to cool, put in one large or eight small individual pie dishes and cover with puff pastry. Decorate the top with the leftover puff pastry — have fun, we sometimes make funny faces, write messages or put a fine pastry cockerel on top if your guests are not too sensitive.

  9. Refrigerate until required. This could be prepared ahead of time. Preheat the oven to 230C°/gas mark 8. Just before cooking, brush the top with egg wash and cook for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 200C°/gas mark 6 for a further 15 — 20 minutes or until golden brown.

    From 30 years at Ballymaloe by Darina Allen (Kyle Books). Picture: Laura Edwards

Ingredients

  • water

  • 2 large carrots, cut into chunks

  • 2 large onions, quartered 

  • 2 celery stalks, cut into small chunks

  • 6 black peppercorns

  • Bouquet garni

  • a sprig of tarragon

  • 1 large free-range organic chicken or boiling fowl

  • 450g streaky bacon, cooked (boiled in a piece)

  • 16 button onions

  • 25g butter

  • 16 mushrooms (I like to use ‘breakfast flats’)

  • 110g  peas (frozen are fine) optional

  • 150ml  dry white wine

  • 250ml cream

  • salt 

  • pepper

  • 500g  puff pastry (home-made is best)

  • Egg wash

  • For the roux:

  • 110g butter

  • 110g flour 

Method

  1. Put 5cm of water or chicken stock in a heavy casserole and add the vegetables and bouquet garni.

  2. Lay the chicken on top. Add a sprig of tarragon if available and cover with a tight-fitting lid.

  3. Bring to the boil and then transfer to a moderate oven, 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Cook for one to two hours, depending on the size of the bird. Watch that it does not boil dry. The water should be deliciously rich and may be a little fatty.

  4. Meanwhile fry the flat mushrooms in a little butter on a hot pan, season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sweat the onions in butter in a covered casserole until soft.

  5. Cut the cooked bacon into cubes. When the chicken is cooked remove from the casserole onto a large platter and carve the flesh. De-grease cooking liquid.

  6. Arrange the sliced chicken in layers in a deep pie dish, covering each layer with bacon, onions and mushrooms, add peas if using (no need to cook).

  7. Next, make the sauce. Make the roux by melting the butter and cook the flour in it for two minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in 600ml  of the strained and de-greased cooking liquid and the dry white wine into a saucepan and bring to the boil, whisking all the time.  Add the cream. Bring to the boil again. Taste and correct the seasoning.

  8. Allow to cool, put in one large or eight small individual pie dishes and cover with puff pastry. Decorate the top with the leftover puff pastry — have fun, we sometimes make funny faces, write messages or put a fine pastry cockerel on top if your guests are not too sensitive.

  9. Refrigerate until required. This could be prepared ahead of time. Preheat the oven to 230C°/gas mark 8. Just before cooking, brush the top with egg wash and cook for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 200C°/gas mark 6 for a further 15 — 20 minutes or until golden brown.

    From 30 years at Ballymaloe by Darina Allen (Kyle Books). Picture: Laura Edwards