For the filling
- 1 whole chicken (approx. 1.75kg)
- Olive oil for drizzling
- 40g butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large leek, weighing 225g, trimmed and sliced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, stalks removed
- 40g plain flour
- 300ml chicken stock
- 300ml single cream
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the herb shortcrust pastry
- 350g plain flour
- pinch salt
- 90g butter, diced
- 90g white vegetable fat, diced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 15g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 4-5 tbsp cold water
- Beaten egg, to glaze
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Following the pack cooking guidelines, place the chicken on a roasting tray, drizzle with oil and roast for 1½ hours or until thoroughly cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to rest until just cool enough to handle.
- Remove all the cooked chicken from the bone and roughly shred. Discard the bones and carcass and you should have around 500g shredded chicken.
- Melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan, add the leek, garlic, lemon zest and thyme, and saut for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the leek is very soft. Then stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Gradually add the stock to the pan, a little at a time, stirring constantly until thickened and smooth. Stir in the cream and mustard and cook over a gentle heat for 1-2 minutes or until thickened slightly. Season liberally, then stir in the chicken and set aside to cool.
- To make the herb pastry, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and white vegetable fat and rub into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then stir in the thyme leaves and Parmesan and, using a round-bladed knife, stir in 4-5 tbsp cold water, or enough to bind to a soft but not sticky dough.
- Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly until smooth. Divide the dough into 2 parts, one around two thirds for the pie base and the other third for the lid. Wrap both in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Roll the larger ball of pastry out on a floured surface to a 34cm circle, 3mm thick. Line the Perfobake tin with the pastry, using your rolling pin to carefully lift it into place.
- Press the pastry into the sides of the tin and leave the excess hanging over the tin edges. Spoon the chicken and leek filling into the pastry case and spread out evenly.
- Roll out the smaller ball of pastry to a 25cm circle. Brush a little cold water on the pie edge then, using your rolling pin, lift the pastry lid into place and press down the edges to secure. With a sharp knife, trim off the excess pastry then flute the edges.
- Make a cross in the centre of the pie with a sharp knife to let the steam escape. Re-roll the pastry trimmings and cut out leaves or letters to decorate the pie lid, using cold water to attach them. Brush the pie lid with beaten egg to glaze, place on a baking tray and bake for 1¼ hours or until crisp and golden. Serve hot.
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