Recipe: Chicken and Ham Pie with Sweetcorn and Peas

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Here's a recipe for making a pie from scratch, but you can also adapt it to use up leftover chicken, turkey or ham (or any combination of scraps from your fridge)

INGREDIENTS:

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

600ml chicken or vegetable stock (Marigold Swiss Boullion powder is best)

50g butter

1 large onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

50g flour

300ml milk

juice of 1 lemon

200g cooked ham, cut into chunks (bought at the deli counter or prepacked, or use leftovers)

100g frozen sweet corn

100g frozen peas

3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

salt and freshly ground black pepper

500g shortcrust pastry (shop-bought or home-made)

1 egg, lightly beaten

You will also need a baking dish or casserole, approximately 2–2.5litres capacity and at least 5cm deep, preferably with a rim


Method:-

    • Lay the chicken breasts in a large frying or saute pan and pour over the stock. Heat gently until just bubbling, cover with a lid (or use a baking sheet) and poach until completely cooked, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and pour the stock into a jug.
      • Melt the butter in the frying pan and fry the onion and celery until soft but not coloured, about 10 minutes.
        • Add the flour and stir for two minutes so it coats the vegetables. Pour in the reserved stock and any juices from the cooling chicken, a little at a time and stir until you have a thick sauce.
          • Slowly pour in the milk and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
            • Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, parsley and pepper. (Note: If you’ve used the Swiss Boullion powder or a stock cube, taste before adding salt. Ham can also be salty so there may be enough without adding more.)
              • Chop or shred the chicken into bite-size pieces and place in a baking dish or casserole along with the ham, corn and peas. Pour over the sauce and fold together until well combined. Set aside to cool.
                • Roll out the pastry to a shape just larger than the top of your pie dish and cut a 1cm strip from around the edge. Brush the rim of the dish with the beaten egg and press the strip on to it. Brush the strip with more egg then lift the pastry and lay it over the pie, pressing it onto the edges. Trim the excess pastry hanging over the sides and use a fork to seal and mark the rim. Make three short slits in the top to allow steam to escape and brush the top with more of the egg. If you want you can make shapes with the leftover pastry and decorate the top.
                  • The pie can now sit in the fridge for up to a day until ready to bake. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 and place the pie on a baking sheet. Brush the top with more beaten egg and bake for 30–35 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp and the filling thoroughly heated through.
                    • PREP/COOK INFORMATION: Prep time: 1 hour Cook time: 35 minutes Serves: 6 Source: Terry Farris

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