• 500g ready-made butter puff pastry and a little plain flour for rolling.
• 1 egg and 1 tablespoon milk, beaten together.
• 55g butter
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 55g flour
• 600ml chicken stock
• 115g white Stilton cheese, crumbled
• 100ml single cream
• 55g semi-dried cranberries
• 2 tablespoons freshly chopped sage or 2 teaspoons dried sage
• ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
• 600g cooked chicken meat, shredded
• Oven: 200°C/180°C fan / Gas Mark 6 pre-heated
To make the pie filling:
1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until lightly golden.
2. Add the flour and cook for a further 1 minute.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in a quarter of the chicken stock, when combined stir in the remaining stock. Return to the heat and stir constantly until it is simmering and has thickened.
4. Stir in the Stilton cheese, cream, cranberries, sage and pepper. Once the cheese has melted add the cooked chicken and adjust the seasoning to taste.
To make the pie:
1. Dust a work surface and a rolling pin with a little flour and roll out the pastry to approximately 5-7mm thick. Turn the pie dish upside down and use as a guide to cut an oval 2cm larger than the top. Make a cross cut in the centre for the pie bird to go through. Cut some thin strips from the remaining pastry to use around the rim of the dish.
2. Place the cooked filling into the pie dish and position the pie bird in the centre. Brush some of the beaten egg mix around the edges of the pie dish and place on the pastry strips joining up where necessary. Brush the pastry strips with some more of the beaten egg mixture and place on the pastry top allowing the pie bird to poke through the cross cut. Press the pastry down gently around the edges to seal. Brush the top with the remaining beaten egg.
3. Cook for 30-35 minutes until puffed up and deep golden brown.
• As a guide a 1¼ -1½ kg chicken will yield approximately 600g of cooked chicken meat.
• Cut the chicken into quarters, rub the skin with a little butter, season with salt. Place into a shallow roasting pan, pour over 250ml stock, cover tightly with foil and cook in a pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes at oven 180°C/160°C fan/Gas Mark 4.
• The cooking juices can be skimmed of fat and used as part of the stock.
• If using ready-made stock or a stock from a concentrate always check before adding salt.Puff pastry needs to be cut larger than the dish as it will often shrink back a little when cooked.
Recipe courtesy of Le Creuset