“Making a large pie can seem daunting, but wonderfully, it’s actually rather simple, requiring nothing more complicated than a standard roasting pan,” says Sasha Wilkins of Liberty London Girl. She shared this recipe from her newest book Friends Food Family: Essential Recipes, Tips, and Secrets for the Modern Hostess with us during her US book launch celebration. See how Sasha served this dish (using those lovely blackbird pie funnels) at an intimate dinner party here.
For the Poached Chicken
1 organic, free-range chicken (around 2. to 3. lb [1.2 to 1.5 kg])
For the Pie
4 cups [500 g] white mushrooms, quartered
4 leeks, thickly sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 carrots, cut into chunks
. cup [100 g] all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1. lb [750 g] ready-made puff pastry sheets
7 Tbsp [100 g] butter
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
4. cups [1 L] hot liquid (preferably 2 cups [500 ml]chicken stock and 2 cups [500 ml] milk)
2. cups [250 g] grated cheese (preferably Monterey Jack or cheddar)
1 egg, lightly beaten
large roasting pan
Poach the chicken, straining and reserving the cooking liquid. Remove the meat from the bones (discarding the bones) and cut into bite-size pieces.
For the pie, fry the mushrooms and the leeks separately in 1 Tbsp olive oil each, and steam or boil the carrots until al dente. Set aside.
Sprinkle flour over the work surface and lay out the puff pastry sheets. Using the top of the roasting pan as a template, roll out the pastry further with a rolling pin (being careful not to roll it too thin) until it’s big enough to fit over the pan. Using the remaining pastry, cut long strips the width and length of the lip of the roasting pan sides, to cover each side. Cover with a dish towel.
Using the butter, flour, the mustard, and hot liquid, make the white sauce, adding in the grated cheese at the end, and stirring until melted.
Put the mushrooms, leeks, and carrots in the roasting pan, being careful not to add the cooking liquid, as this will make the sauce too runny and cause it to separate. Add the chicken and distribute evenly. Pour the white sauce over the chicken and vegetables, making sure it is mixed in. If you are using blackbird pie funnels, place these now. Let cool slightly. Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C].
Flip the large piece of pastry over the roasting pan, using a small sharp knife to make a cross where each blackbird will poke through. Do not worry if the pastry doesn’t quite stretch over the lip of the pan. Brush the beaten egg over the edges and place the pastry strips, cut earlier, over the lip of the pan to secure the pastry sheet on all sides. Brush the entire top of the pie with beaten egg.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the pastry is risen and golden.
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