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Chicken, herb and golden ale pie


Serves: 6
timePrep time: 1 hr
timeTotal time:
Chicken, herb and golden ale pie
Recipe photograph by Catherine Frawley

Chicken, herb and golden ale pie

The pub pie is one of the glories of British cuisine. Packed with summery fresh herbs, this version is lighter than our beloved steak and ale, but has the same buttery pastry

Serves: 6
timePrep time: 1 hr
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
763Kcal
Fat
49gr
Saturates
26gr
Carbs
34gr
Sugars
6gr
Fibre
3gr
Protein
42gr
Salt
2.3gr

Felicity Cloake

Felicity Cloake

Felicity Cloake is a freelance food writer and is the author of The A - Z of Eating. 
 
See more of Felicity Cloake’s recipes
Felicity Cloake

Felicity Cloake

Felicity Cloake is a freelance food writer and is the author of The A - Z of Eating. 
 
See more of Felicity Cloake’s recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, plus 60g
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 160g dry-cured smoked bacon lardons or pancetta
  • 800ml good-quality chicken stock
  • 500ml golden ale
  • about 1kg bone-in chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
  • 60g plain flour, plus extra
  • 150ml crème fraîche
  • 10g tarragon, leaves picked
  • 20g parsley
  • 20g chives
  • 1 x 375g all-butter puff pastry sheet
  • 1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt

Step by step

Get ahead
Prepare to the end of step 5 the day before, cool and chill before topping with pastry. If cooking from chilled, add an extra 10-15 minutes cooking time.
  1. Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large wide saucepan over a medium heat, and fry the onions for 5-7 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the bacon, turn up the heat slightly and fry until golden, then scoop out into a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add the stock to the pan and scrape the base, then add the ale and the chicken – it should be just covered by the liquid, so top up with a little more stock or water if necessary. Bring to a simmer and skim off any froth if necessary, then turn the heat down low and simmer gently for about 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Scoop out the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and, when cool enough to handle, remove the skin and take the meat off the bone, tearing it into large chunks. Add it to the bacon and onions.
  4. Pour the cooking liquid into a jug and melt the 60g butter in the saucepan. Whisk in the flour and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes. Slowly pour the cooking liquid back in, a little at a time, making sure you mix thoroughly. Once all the liquid has been added, bring to a simmer, stirring, until it thickens to the consistency of double cream. Take off the heat, and whisk in the crème fraîche. Season to taste.
  5. Heat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6, and spread the chicken, bacon and onion mixture into a pie dish about 24 x 30cm. Roughly chop the herbs and stir them into the sauce, then pour this into the dish. Leave the filling to cool completely before topping with the pastry as any heat will cause it to soften and start to melt, due to the butter content. Ideally, chill the pie filling at this stage.
  6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface if you need to make it larger to cover the dish, and use to top the pie, pressing the edges down with a fork. Use any offcuts to decorate the pie, cut a small hole in the centre to allow steam to escape, then brush with the beaten egg and bake for 30 minutes until golden. Serve with greens and a glass of golden ale if you like.

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