Chicken and Mushroom Pies
Makes 4 large or 6 medium pies
- 6 skinned and boned chicken thighs
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 level Tbs plain flour
- 125g brown button mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 125g bacon, rind removed and chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 Tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tbs chopped thyme
- 250ml chicken stock
- 1 egg
Cut chicken into pieces, removing as much fat as possible. Season with salt and pepper, and dust with flour. Put chicken meat, mushrooms, bacon, onion, parsley and thyme in layers in small pie dishes. Fill to the top with chicken stock.
Roll out the pastry thinly, then cut a round large enough to generously cover each of the pie dishes. Cut thin strips of pastry and press this onto the dampened rims of the pie dishes (the pastry strip can be joined if necessary). Dampen these pastry 'ledges' with water, then lay the pastry rounds on top. Seal together by pressing firmly then trim off the excess pastry with a small sharp knife.
Use the back of the knife to knock up the edges (see below). If liked cut a scallop shape on the pastry edges with the back of the knife blade. Make a small hole in the centre of the pastry on each pie to allow steam to escape. Brush the surface of the pies with beaten egg yolk, and put pies on a baking sheet. Bake the pies in an oven preheated to 200°C for 30 minutes, lower temperature to 170°C, and continue cooking for 20 to 30 minutes, or until pastry is a good golden brown and the chicken tender. Once the pastry is a deep golden brown, loosely drape pies with a sheet of tin foil. Serve pies hot.
Use a small knife to make indentations on the pastry edges. This is referred to as 'knocking up'. The edges of the pastry will then rise and flake during cooking. If you want to partly prepare these pies, roll the pastry, cut it into rounds to cover the pie dishes, put the pieces on a tray lined with plastic wrap or waxed paper, and chill it until required.