Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Chicken and Ham Pie

Happy New Year to you all.

So, with the festivities slowly sculking into the past, my thoughts have been a little bit hindered i.e. where's all my money gone?! 

Some slight over indulgence in food has left my purse feeling a tad light and turns out my laptop couldn't survive to see 2012 out, for which I'll need to save pennies for a new one. 

With this in mind, I wanted to share a cheap but very tasty meal with you. Chicken and ham pie. 

To keep the costs low, I've used the cheaper, and tastier, chicken thighs, added reduced cost ham pieces from the supermarket's deli and cooked in bulk. 

Hope you enjoy. If not, here's a photo of young me with two ice creams to make up for it. 

Makes 6 individual pies or 1 very large pie

For the filling:
40g butter, unsalted
40g plain flour
600ml whole milk, warm
2 bay leaves
6 chicken thighs, filleted and cut into small chunks
100g ham, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper, to season

For the pastry:
75g lard
75g butter, unsalted
300g plain flour
1tsp salt
Cold water
1 egg, beaten

To make the filling, melt the butter in a fairly deep pan, then stir in the flour using a wooden spoon. Now switch to a whisk and gradually whisk in the milk. (This is easier, and quicker, if you have the milk warmed in another pan). Throw in the bay leaves, followed by the chicken and ham. Simmer for roughly 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked, then taste and season. 

Now to make the pastry (or this can be done beforehand, up to you). Using the tips of your fingers, rub the fats into the flour, until it looks like breadcrumbs and add the salt. Very gradually add the water until it comes together and forms a ball. Note: the less water you did the shorter (more crumbly) the end result will be, but it still needs to be workable. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 30 minutes. 

Now to assemble. 

Preheat the oven to 200C. 

Put the filling into the pie dish(es) and brush the edges with some of the egg. Roll out the pastry and cut to the appropriate size for your dishes and place on top of them. Glaze the pastry with the remaining egg and cut two small holes into the centre with a knife (to release steam so the pies don't explode). Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until piping hot in the middle and golden brown on top.