Chicken and mushroom pie - how to make a homemade chicken and mushroom pie.

chicken and mushroom pie
When you are ill there's nothing more comforting than a large bowl of chicken soup. And chicken pie is similar, in the sense that when you want to eat something comforting, homely, hearty and delicious, there's nothing better than a huge piece of homemade chicken and mushroom pie to make you feel more relaxed and content. Pastry, a creamy filling of delicious chunks of chicken, served with gravy and a large dollop of mashed potato - what more could you ask for?
When making a homemade chicken and mushroom pie, you can take your time and prepare everything from scratch or if you are pushed for time, there are shortcuts you can take.

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For example, you can purchase ready-made shortcrust pastry, buy chicken pieces that have already been cooked and cut, and pour in a tin of thick chicken soup instead of making a roux sauce.

You can also use leftover cooked chicken from your Sunday roast.

Basically, a chicken and mushroom pie can be made in a variety of ways, but in general, chicken meat - breast and meat from the legs and thighs, which will provide more flavour - is added to fried mushroom, onion and garlic and a roux made from chicken stock and milk or cream, and is placed in a pie dish, which is then topped with a layer of shortcrust or if you prefer, puff pastry, and baked in the oven until crispy and golden brown in colour.

In the UK, this pie is often served with creamy mashed potatoes, green vegetables and a generous serving of gravy.

The following recipe can be adapted to suit your own tastes, and ingredients can be removed, added or substituted. Instead of just using button mushrooms, you could use a mixture of button and dried porcini mushrooms or any other type of mushroom that you prefer. The milk can be substituted with cream for a richer and creamier tasting pie, and you can add cooked roasted chicken meat from a whole chicken instead of frying up chicken breasts. When frying the onion, garlic and mushrooms, you could also add sliced carrots and throw in some peas at the end.

Chicken and mushroom pie recipe

Ingredients
  • 500g (1lb 1oz) of shortcrust pastry (see our guide to shortcrust pastry)
  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 300ml ( pint) of milk
  • 200ml (7fl oz) of chicken stock
  • 150g (5oz) of button mushrooms, quartered
  • 55g (2oz) of butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 tbsp of plain flour
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • a glug of olive oil
  • handful of freshly chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • grated nutmeg
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to a temperature of 200C (400F).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the chicken pieces and fry until they turn white. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  3. To the same pan, add the onion, garlic and mushrooms and fry for several minutes until the onion softens slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside with the chicken.
  4. In the same pan if you choose, melt the butter, add the flour, stir together and cook for 1 minute to form a roux (thick paste).
  5. Slowly pour the milk in, stirring continuously as you do so, so that a sauce forms. Try to ensure that there are no lumps.
  6. Add the chicken stock and season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  7. Continue to cook for a few minutes until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.
  8. Add the chopped parsley and stir.
  9. Place the chicken and mushroom mixture into a pie dish and pour the sauce over the top. Leave until this has completely cooled.
  10. Once the filling has cooled, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured clean surface.
  11. Brush the edges of the pie dish with the beaten egg and lay the pastry over the top. Trim the edges and press the pastry down at the edges to seal the filling in.
  12. Glaze the pastry with the beaten egg and decorate with shapes made from the leftover pastry.
  13. Make a vent in the top of the pie to allow the steam to escape during cooking and place into the preheated oven.
  14. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the pastry is a lovely golden brown colour.
  15. Remove from the oven and serve hot with mashed potato and steamed green vegetables.
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