It is coming into the first week of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, so I think it is time to depart from all the green smoothies and protein balls and embrace a hearty, rustic winter pie. I call my pie “rustic” Chicken Mustard Pie because my homemade pastry doesn’t look perfect, it looks a bit rustic and rough around the edges but it tastes great. You can always use store bought puff or flaky pastry and simply follow the filling recipe below (I just wouldn’t call it a “rustic” pie if you are using store bought!)
Pastry (If making your own, or use store bought puff or flaky pastry)
- 2 cups plain flour
- 180g cold butter, cubed
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon cold water (for egg wash)
- Sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)
- 6 chicken thigh fillets
- 250 g button mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons (or to your taste) of rosemary/ thyme/ sage (or a combination)
- 2 brown onions
- 1 shallot
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (I used chardonnay – see my wine note below)
- 2-3 tablespoons mustard (I used a mix of dijon and grainy)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Handful of italian parsley (optional)
- Salt and pepper.
- 1 tablespoon oil.
Start by making the filling, once it is done it can sit in the pan waiting for the pastry.
Method for Pie Filling
Thinly slice the onions and shallots. I like my onions, so I have used 2 in this recipe but you could use half only if you prefer. Cut the chicken thighs into quarters, or about bite sized pieces (removing bones if using bone in chicken thighs).
Add the oil to a largely, heavy based saucepan.
Cook the onion and shallots over a medium heat until softened. Next add the chicken and cook until it is sealed (about 5 minutes). Add chopped mushrooms and the rosemary/ thyme/ sage (or a combination of the three), the flour and the stock and continue to simmer over a medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Add the wine and continue to cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes. Finally, stir through the mustard, season with salt and pepper, turn down the heat and add the chopped parsley.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Make and rest the Pastry
Measure the flour into a bowl, then rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. If you have a good mixer, making pastry with a dough hook fitting attached makes a world of difference and makes the process much easier. If you don’t have a mixer, you can speed the “rubbing in” process up by grating the butter into the flour.
Once the flour and butter is combined add the egg yolk and enough water to combine into a firm dough.
Knead lightly to bring mixture together, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest.
Roll out 2/3 of the Pastry for the Base and Sides of the Pie
Once the dough has rested, separate out 2/3 of the dough for the base of the pie. Roll out into a circle, turning 90 degrees as you roll to get a large round. The pastry should be about 1/2 a centimetre thick Ideally, you want the pastry to be larger that the dish you are using so you can lay the pastry over the dish and cut off excess.
I used a large fluted 30cm pie dish, so there was very little room for spare pastry. If you use are smaller dish you will have more leeway with your pastry.
Once you have lined the base and sides of your dish with pastry, the pastry will need to be blind baked for 10 minutes. This ensures the pastry on the bottom cooks and doesn’t go soggy as it would if you simply tipped the hot filling on top.
Blind Bake the base of the Pie
Line the pastry with baking paper, then blind bake by adding pie weights, beans or rice on top of the pastry – this stops it from rising in the oven. If you don’t have pie weights (like me) you can load the baking paper up with rice or dry beans:
After you have blind baked, remove the weights and baking paper. Roll out the remaining third of the pastry to top the pie.
Add the filling to the pie, cover with the pastry. Use a sharp knife to cut two 2 cm lines in the top to allow steam to escape.
Mix together the egg and tablespoon of cold water with a fork, use a pastry brush (or if you don’t have one like me, your fingers) and lightly brush the top of the pie. You will likely only need to use a small amount – perhaps 1/3 of the egg wash.
Cook for 25 minutes or until the pie is golden brown. I sprinkled my finished pie with sesame seeds.
Serve and enjoy!
The cheats way to wine pairing is to use the same wine in the pie as you serve on the table. You may however prefer to use a cheaper already opened wine in the pie.
Chardonnay is a natural pairing with chicken, in particular with a hearty chicken pie. A buttery warm climate chardonnay will cut across the richness of the pie.
I used a Chardonnay from one of my favourite vineyards to visit in the Hunter Valley – Ballabourneen: a 2012 Stuart Chardonnay. It is a really nice drop and although it seems like a waste of good wine, I used this wine in the pie and served it with lunch.