I know, I know, it’s been AGES since I have done this! I’ve been ill! Bronchitis/flu/cold symptoms just didn’t make me want to be creative in the kitchen. And neither has the weather to be honest. How awful has our summer been so far?! I should be showing you lovely salads, and ice-creams and summery eats. But no, today it’s a good old hearty chicken and ham pie with mash!
To be honest, it was a necessity this, more than an inspired moment in the kitchen. I had bought a ham hough (hock) and it was sitting in my fridge threatening to go out of date. We then had roast chicken with a friend this weekend, and with the leftover chicken, I realised it was time to boil up the ham and make a pie for a simple Sunday supper.
It’s all a bit ‘leftover-y’ – the lack of fresh herbs is not deliberate, just didn’t have any, so please forgive me the dried thyme! Whatever, it tasted amazing, if I do say so myself!
Leftover cooked chicken, or cooked chicken pieces
One ham hough, cooked (I boiled mine for around four hours)
Half a packet of puff pastry
One packet of shortcrust pastry
Two cloves of garlic
Glug of white wine
Slug of milk or cream
Chicken gravy from the night before
So, first you need to get your ham and shred it into bite size chunks, and then get your leftover chicken if that’s what you are using and get as much meat as you can off the carcass (1.). Keep the bones, and skin and all and boil it up for stock. Chop the onions, chop the garlic, and if ou have fresh herbs, chop them (2.). Tarragon is nice in this pie, but Mr GK isn’t keen, so thyme is perfect.
Next, whilst the onion and garlic and thyme are frying in your pan, look out leftover gravy if you have it, and chicken stock (3.). I had used my chicken stock to make the gravy the night before, so I had to resort to a cube here! Get your pastry out the fridge. I used shortcrust for the base, and puff for the top…just for the hell of it really! (4.)
Next up, once the onions are soft, add the chicken and ham, and then add the stock, the gravy, a slug of wine, and boil, then simmer (5.). Then add milk, or cream if you want, season, and add any other herbs you fancy. Line the pie dish with shortcrust pastry which you have rolled, and add the filling, and a little pie bird if you have one! (6.)
Next, add the puff pastry lid, after putting some milk around the shortcrust pastry edges. Use a knife to push down and seal the two lots of pastry together. Then brush milk over the pie, and pop in the oven, at around 180C for about 25 minutes, until the pastry is cooked (7.)
Take the pie our of the oven and admire its beauty, and your talent! (8.)
Serve a large portion with mashed potatoes and veg for a wintry meal to keep you warm in wet and windy Britain in June!(9.)