Last night I had twenty two people in my flat. That is probably about ten more than would meet fire safety regulations. To keep them happy I made, amongst many things, pie. Specifically this pie. It’s the closest thing I’ve got to a pork pie and seemed suitably celebratory, with its layers of chicken, sausage and stuffing. It’s also incredibly easy to make.
For the innards, you need about 600g of chicken breast, about 4 to 5. Cut each of them in half, season with salt and pepper and fry in some oil to brown them, about two minutes on each side over a high heat should do, they don’t need to be cooked through. Take a 170g pack of stuffing, reserving two tablespoonfuls and make up the rest with about 250 ml of boiling water. Then take a 500g pack of sausages and squeeze all the meat out of the skins.
The pastry is a robust suet pastry. Rub together 400g of plain flour with a tsp of salt, 100g of suet and 100g of butter. Then dribble in 150ml of cold water and bring it all together in a dough. This can be done in a food processor to make things even easier.
Slice a third of the pastry off and cover it (this is for the lid). Roll out the remainder to as close a circle as you can and use it line an oiled cake tin with a releasable bottom. Pack the stuffing into the bottom and then arrange the chicken on top, leaving as few gaps as possible. Then squash the sausagemeat on top and sprinkle over the rest of the dry stuffing.
Roll out the rest of the pastry to form the lid and place it on top, patting it down to hug the filling and pinching the edges of the pastry together. I’m pretty disastrous at making this look neat but do try your best. Poke a hole in the top, then beat an egg and brush it over the top.
Cook at 180C for 50 minutes, then take the pie out of the oven, give it another egg wash and put it back in for another 10 minutes. Once it’s out of the oven, leave it to cool in the tin before serving.
This pie is sturdy, with distinctly meaty layers, but the sausages serve to keep everything juicy. Perfect for soaking up a mulled wine or two.