French-style chicken pie
A number of years ago, my Frenchman wooed me with a glamorous chicken dish containing white wine, mustard and cream. Back then he cooked whole chicken legs and we ate them with a simple green salad, mopping up the creamy juices with a baguette. Now, to suit our kids’ sometimes picky palates and our busy lifestyle, I’ve transformed his dish into a chicken pie using thigh and breast meat. It freezes well and is handy to have when you need a fine and fancy dinner in a jiffy.Photograph by Jani Shepherd and styling by Fiona Hugues – Gatherum Collectif.
- 1 1/2 blocks (600g) puff pastry
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 slices onions, sliced
- 500 g chicken breast, cut into rough 2cm x 6cm pieces
- 500 g chicken thigh fillets, cut into rough chunks
- 1/4 cup wholegrain mustard
- 80 ml white wine (i used chardonnay for its depth of flavour)
- 250 ml cream
- 1 egg, beaten
- sesame seeds (optional)
- green salad, to serve
- Grease a 22cm, round pie dish with a 6cm depth (any deep baking dish of a similar size will work). On a floured surface, roll out one block (400g) of pastry until 2-3mm thick. Line dish with pastry and leave a 1cm overhang all round. Prick the pastry base all over with a fork and refrigerate.
- In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat and sauté onion until softened and slightly golden. A little more brown on them than usual adds an extra depth of flavour to the filling.
- Add chicken to pan with onions and season. Cook, turning occasionally, until meat is cooked through and slightly browned. Mix mustard into wine then pour over chicken and onions to deglaze pan. Cook for 2 minutes to reduce liquid. Stir in cream. Continue to cook until sauce has thickened slightly (about 2-3 minutes). Check seasoning and adjust if required. Remove from heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 170°C fanbake. On a floured surface, roll out the half block of pastry (200g) to form the pie lid. (I make open pizza tarts for kids’ lunch boxes with any leftover pastry.)
- Remove pie shell from fridge and fill with cooled chicken mixture. Dampen rim with water and lay pastry lid on top. Press pastry pieces together and trim edges. Crimp rim by poking your index finger into the inside edge of pastry and gently pinching it on the other side with your other hand; repeat all the way around. Brush lid with beaten egg and sprinkle over a few sesame seeds, if desired.
- Bake for 30 minutes until top is golden and, when you slide a knife down the side of the pie, the pastry wall looks cooked and golden. Serve warm with a green salad.