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Cheat's tarragon chicken pies

by Sarah Randell

Serves: 8

There aren't many good things about summer coming to an end, but the return of The Great British Bake Off is one of them. We're hooked again, and this week's pie bonanza was one of our favourite episodes. Are you a keen pie maker? Were you inspired? Share in our pie mania by baking a batch of these golden beauties. Think of them as a chicken version of a pork pie. They're made with hot water crust pastry – the traditional pastry for raised pies – but are baked in a muffin tin (a bit of a cheat but it makes things easy). We're pretty pleased with them and hope they become a firm favourite of yours, too.


  • 350g strong plain white flour
  • whole nutmeg, for grating
  • 3 tbsp milk, plus 1 tsp extra
  • 110g white vegetable fat, cubed
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • For the filling: 2 skinless chicken breasts, cut into small slices
  • 2 tbsp chopped pistachios
  • 1 x 20g pack tarragon, leaves only, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 x 28g pack flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl, season and set aside.
  2. For the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl with a little seasoning and a generous grating of nutmeg.
  3. In a small pan, gently heat the 3 tablespoons of milk with 75ml of water, the vegetable fat and mustard, stirring until the fat has melted. Take the pan off the heat and whisk in two of the egg yolks.
  4. Pour the hot liquid into the flour and mix with your hands until it comes together to form a ball of dough.
  5. Cut off two-thirds of the dough, divide it into eight pieces, then roll into balls.
  6. Put a ball of dough into each of eight holes of a 12-hole muffin tin. Using your thumb, press the pastry into the base and up the sides of each hole so it sits slightly proud of the top.
  7. Divide the filling between the pastry cases. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut out eight lids to top each pie; seal the edges.
  8. Lightly beat the other egg yolk with the teaspoon of milk and glaze the pie tops. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and make an air hole in the top of each.
  9. Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Transfer each pie from the tin to the hot baking sheet, brush the tops and sides of the pies with more egg-yolk glaze and bake for a further 20 minutes.
  11. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Eat cold.


Eat with a mustard mayonnaise. They're easy to transport, too, so ideal for lunchboxes.

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