Chicken Thigh & Two Mushroom Pie

Which is a round about way of saying... Chicken & Mushroom Pie.

I'll be honest, when I think of chicken and mushroom pie, I think of horrible, bland white sauce with tough old bits of chicken and thinly sliced mushrooms, I never really liked this kind of pie before, but as soon as I bought myself a new pie dish, I immediately wanted to try out a tasty and wholesome pie so I looked to the classics.

I looked at a lot of recipes to think about what might work and what wouldn't. What I found is that there's a lot of standard ingredients for this pie and they are, chicken, mushrooms (believe it or not), chicken stock and milk (to get that white creamy texture) and then I guess the rest is up for interpretation.

I guess the most important part is getting the pastry right though, quite a few recipes I read had a shortcrust topping and to me that just doesn't cut it. When I think of pie, I think of big puffy pastry that is a lovely golden brown colour. And I really think I cracked it. I would have like my pastry to have puffed up a little more, but it really did taste divine.

I would like your input here, I'm in the process of sharpening up these kind of recipe posts and would like to know whether you prefer just a few pictures of the finished product and the instructions written out, orrr if you prefer the step-by-step pictures and instructions along side? Let me know.

Anyway, if you're ready for it, here's my recipe!

Chicken Thigh & Two Mushroom Pie
Serves 4

What You Need:
4-5 chicken thighs
150g mini chestnut button mushrooms
Approx 80g shiitake mushrooms
4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
1 medium-large onion
3 cloves of garlic
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
400ml chicken stock
200ml milk
3 tablespoons of plain flour
Black pepper for seasoning

For the pastry
300g plain flour
150g unsalted butter
250ml cold water
1 egg

I think it's best to make the mixture the night before you wish to eat this pie, leaving any mixture over night to let the flavours really come together is a great way of doing things, so if you want the best out of this pie - do the right thing, plan ahead!

What You Need To Do:

Grab yourself a large frying pan, put the hob in a medium heat and place the chicken thighs in the pan, lay them flat so they cook quicker

Whilst they're cooking, chop up your onion, grate your garlic and chop the bacon in to small pieces

Make sure that the chicken is at least sealed on the outside and then at the onions, garlic and bacon to the pan making sure that there is an even spread of ingredients across the pan. At this point, turn the heat on the pan up, but not too high we just want to speed up the cooking process for the onions and bacon, but not brown or burn them

Let the onions go translucent, this will take about 5-10 mins

During this time, you can give your mushrooms a wash, leave the mini button mushrooms whole but quarter the shiitake mushrooms - we want to spread the love

Add them to the pan and let them cook for about 5-10 mins until the mushrooms release their juices. Don't let the mushrooms shrivel up though at this stage, there is more cooking to do and we still want them to be nice and chunky in the mix

It's at this point where you should add your flour to the mix. Adding the flour before the liquid avoids lumps of flour and is just all-round less stressful

Turn down the heat back to medium and really coat everything with the flour, mixing it up well then add your chicken stock (I used a knorr stock pot) and the milk 

As well as two of the three sprigs of thyme. Avoid adding the stalks, we just want the little leaves

It will seem very watery and not look very appetising but this is where the flour comes into its own. Keep stirring everything around gently allowing the sauce to thicken up, this may take up to about 15 mins; allow the sauce to simmer and just keep stirring

Add the rest of the thyme

You can see the difference, non? At this point turn the heat off and just leave the sauce to rest for a bit. If you have a cheeky partner like mine, you can allow them to dip some bread into the sauce for testing purposes... obviously

Get a bowl/container and let the sauce cool down then place into the fridge to let the magic happen over night

Fast forward a day and it's time for dinner! Pre-heat your oven to 160c (fan oven)

I used the rough puff pastry from my galette but originally from Rosie's blog, it's quick and easy and gives the results, should take about 15 mins to make the pastry, which is super quick - don't bother with store bought, you get much better satisfaction from making it yourself.

Chuck the flour, diced butter and icy cold water into a bowl and roughly smash together with one hand, being careful not to smush the butter too much (technical term there)

Flour a clean surface and roll out your dough. You want to fold over the dough about 5 times, in thirds so once you have a nice sized rectangle, fold over one third into the middle and then the other third on top, re-flour your surface and roll out again, repeat this about 5 times, you'll be amazing at how quickly it all comes together

Fill your pie dish (or dishes in my case, I only have two smaller ones that serve two portions only at the moment) with your chicken and mushroom filling

Place your pastry over your pie dish and press down the pastry on the edges with a fork and in the middle for steam release

Whisk the egg for an egg wash over the pastry

As you can see, mine was a bit of a 'rustic' job...

Pop your pie(s) in the oven to cook, after about 15-20 mins, turn your heat up to about 200c for another 20 mins until your pie is golden brown, crusty and bubbling inside

Get excited and serve

Pie isn't the most attractive thing to serve...

But I tried...

I have to say, this tastes absolutely amazing (if I say so myself, but Shay agrees) and I'm quite proud of the recipe. I think the use of different mushrooms make such a difference, I love the smokiness of the chestnuts and the almost meaty flavour of the shiitake in this, I think it adds something difference.

Anyway, if you give this a go, please let me know, I'd love to know what you think!

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