'It's the prince among pies'. Try making this Wigmore chicken pie tonight...
For the pastry:
- Firstly make sure you have a clear and clean work surface to work on.
- Measure the flour and salt into a large bowl together and stir briefly to mix together.
- Add the shredded beef suet to the bowl along with a bit of the water and begin mixing into the flour using a palette knife or blade of a butter knife. It is important to add the water gradually, as you want the dough to just come together and not be too wet and sticky.
- Continue to blend evenly using curving motions, turning the mixture over.
- Once the dough has started to come together, abandon the knife and use your hands to do the final mix. The dough should start to become smooth and the bowl should be clean.
- Once you are happy with the texture, remove the ball of dough and place it on the lightly floured work bench.
- Knead the dough once more until it has a smooth and elastic texture.
For the filling:
- Begin by putting the chicken stock in a large saucepan and bringing gradually to the boil.
- Take the chicken thighs and place them in the boiling stock so they poach and cook through, reduce the heat on the pan and leave the chicken in the stock to cool.
- While the chicken is cooking, you can start to prepare the vegetables. Pod the fresh peas and broad beans (keep them separate) and peel the baby carrots.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the stock and set aside. Place the stock back on the heat.
- Bring the stock to the boil again and very quickly blanch the fresh peas and broad beans. Once cooked, transfer to some ice water to refresh. Repeat the process with the baby carrots.
- Strain the stock off and set aside to use for later.
- In a fresh pan, start to build the veloute. Begin by making a roux with the flour and butter, cook out until it has turned pale and lost the raw flour taste.
- Add the white wine to the roux and cook out until it has almost evaporated, then add the chicken stock a little at a time and repeat the same method; whisking until it has reduced and thickened slightly.
- To finish the sauce, add the double cream and allow it to just come up to the boil. You do not want it boil rapidly as this will split the cream.
- Once sauce consistency, add all of the baby vegetables into the sauce and finish with some chopped tarragon or thyme and season as desired with salt and pepper.
- Shred your cooled chicken thighs to your chosen size, add them to the sauce and then begin assembling the pies.
- Take your pastry lined pie moulds and fill them with the spring chicken mixture, take care not to overfill the pie as you want to be able to seal the top nicely with your pastry.
- Using your cut out pastry pie lids, seal all of the pies and crimp the edges of the overlapping pastry. You should then refrigerate the pies and let them rest before you egg wash and score them.
- Serve your pie with mashed potatoes, mustard, salad etc.
For the pastry:
- 3kg self-raising flour
- 8 pinches of table salt
- 1.5kg beef suet
- 2 litres tepid water
For the filling:
- 8 boneless chicken thighs
- 200g fresh peas
- 200g fresh broad beans
- 8 baby carrots
- 500ml chicken stock
- 150ml white wine
- 50g plain flour
- 50g unsalted butter
- 200ml double cream
- Fresh tarragon or thyme