This chicken and bacon pie recipe is hands down my family’s favourite pie – serve it with chips or mash and veg and it’s always a winner. It tastes amazing, it’s simple to make and pretty cheap too. What’s not to love?!
- 200g plain flour
- 100g cold butter
- Large pinch of salt
- Cold Water to mix
- 600g chicken breasts
- 2 x Chicken oxo cube
- 200g smoked bacon lardons (or diced thick ham)
- 25g plain flour
- 25g butter
- 50ml semi skimmed milk
- Salt, pepper, garlic granules, onion granules, mixed herbs
- Egg – for egg wash
- Baking brush
- Rolling Pin
- Pie dish
To make the filling
First of all, crumble one stock cube into a large saucepan and fill with about 600ml boiling water. Carefully drop in the whole chicken breasts and simmer for 10-15 minutes (they won’t necessarily be cooked through).
While the chicken breasts are poaching, quickly fry off the lardons in a small frying pan until they are nearly crispy (but not burnt). Set aside.
Remove the breasts from the pan and allow to cool slightly on some kitchen roll – keep the stock!
In a large pan, make your roux or white sauce. Melt the butter then tip in the plain flour once the butter is bubbling. Stir quickly so that the flour combines with the butter. Keep the mixture on a medium heat stirring constantly for about a minute until the flour has a chance to cook.
Turn the heat down to low and using a ladle, slowly add approximately half the chicken stock and stir constantly. You may like to use a small balloon whisk here as you want to avoid lumps.
Eventually (about 5 mins!) you should have a thick sauce. Add the milk so that it lightens up, becomes creamier and richer. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, herbs and onion granules if you like.
Bring the mixture to a boil so that it can thicken. Consider the texture you want your pie to have when sliced/on a plate. It needs to be thick enough not to empty out all over your plate but not so thick that it can be sliced and remain standing! It’s a personal judgment call really but I tend to lean more to the oozy side.
Once thickened turn off the heat. Diced your cooled chicken breasts and tip them in along with the bacon lardons and stir thoroughly. Cover with a lid (otherwise a thick skin forms) and leave to cool while you make the pastry.
To make the pastry
Stir the salt through the plain flour first.
Dice your butter and rub it into the flour – you don’t want any large lumps (think breadcrumbs).
Very lightly add ice cold water, continuously stirring with a knife and bring the dough together. You want to add as little water as possible to the mixture otherwise it won’t have the “short” crust crumbliness to it.
You also want to handle it with your (warm) hands as little as possible. Shape the pastry into a ball, wrap it in cling film or a sandwich bag and chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C
Assemble your pie
Divide the pastry into two pieces – generally 60-40 as the base needs to be larger than the top.
Roll the larger ball of pastry out to about 2mm thick – it will need to be at least about 5cm wider all around the base in order to rise up the sides and overhang your pie dish. Once rolled out evenly, put it into the pie dish and make sure there are no air pockets and it’s sticking nicely to the sides. Trim off the excess pastry (leaving just a small overhang past the rim).
Dip your finger in some ice cold water and run your finger around the edge of the pastry to start forming a ‘glue’.
Roll out the smaller ball of pastry for your lid, just slightly larger than the pie dish – again about 2mm thick.
Tip in the chicken/bacon filling and then roll the pastry lid on top of the pie dish. Gently squeeze the two layers of pastry crust together and to give a nice finishing effect, press a fork around the edges for a lovely old-fashioned look. Click here for my tips on crimping in my Beef & Ale Pie Recipe.
Egg wash the entire pie and then cut a small hole in the centre to allow the air to escape when cooking.
Pop your beautiful pie in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until evenly golden brown (you may want to turn it halfway through) and crisp.
Serve with greens and perhaps some mashed potato – mmmmmmm!