Chicken & Mushroom Pie

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Nothing beats a good pie when nights are long and credit short. I’m far too lazy to make my own puff pastry, especially when the supermarkets have decent ready-made stuff. Just ensure it’s all-butter, as the pastry made with margarine is predictably nasty. When roasting a chicken for dinner, add another one to eat later. As ever, the better the chicken, the finer the taste and texture.

Ingredients

  • 75 g/3 oz butter
  • 50 g/ oz plain flour, sifted, plus extra for rolling pastry
  • 600 ml/20 fl oz hot chicken stock
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • juice of 1 lemon

Tabasco

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 225 g/8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 15 g/½ oz dried morels, soaked in warm water, drained and chopped (optional, as they are expensive but they do add some mycological magic)
  • 150 ml/5 fl oz dry white wine
  • 1 cold roasted chicken (the best you can afford), flesh stripped and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
  • 500 g/1 lb 2 oz all-butter puff pastry

Method

Melt 50 g/ oz of the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, then stir in the flour (one of those small Wonder Whisks makes life much easier) and cook for about 2 minutes. Don’t let it colour. Slowly add the hot stock until you have a thick sauce. Season, then add the mustard, lemon juice and a few dashes of Tabasco and leave to simmer for 2 minutes.

Sauté the onion and the fresh and soaked mushrooms in the remaining butter until soft. Add the wine, bring to the boil to cook off the alcohol, then add the mixture to the sauce, stirring over a medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken and herbs, then allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Put the chicken mixture into a 2 litre/ pint pie dish and brush the edge with a little beaten egg. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and lift onto the pie dish. Cut a couple of small vents in the pastry and press around the edges to seal well. Brush with beaten egg and bake for 30–35 minutes, or until golden brown.