Chicken, mushroom and cranberry pie
This chicken and mushroom pie is made festive with a tangy cranberry topping; it makes a great addition to the Boxing Day table, or serve it up as part of a festive buffet – it’s bound to go down a storm.
- First make the pastry. Mix the flour, a pinch of salt and the rosemary in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until you have a breadcrumb-like consistency. Drizzle in 2 tsp ice-cold water and bring the mix together to form a dough, adding a drop more water if necessary. Cut off a third, then wrap both pieces in clingfilm and put them in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Heat half the olive oil in a large heavy-based casserole dish over a medium heat and add the chicken. Season and cook for about 10 mins or until the chicken is beginning to brown, then transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add 1 tbsp of the sherry to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up all the bits. Pour over the chicken then return the pan to the heat. Add the remaining oil, the onion and celery, and cook for 8 mins or until soft. Stir through the garlic and cook for a further 2 mins.
- Drain and chop the porcini mushrooms (straining and reserving the juices) and stir into the pan, along with the shiitake and chestnut mushrooms, and the thyme. Cook for 3 mins, then add the reserved porcini juices and remaining sherry. Return the chicken to the pan, increase the heat to medium–high and cook for 20 mins or until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the nutmeg, crème fraîche and Stilton, season again and cook for a further 2 mins. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool completely – it will thicken as it cools.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Grease a 24cm round x 4cm-deep loose- bottomed, non-fluted tart tin. On a lightly floured board, roll out the larger piece of pastry and trim so that it’s 5cm wider than the tin all the way around. Reserve the trimmings. Transfer the pastry to the tin, letting it overlap the edges. Line with baking paper and baking beans, and bake for 15 mins or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden. Remove from the oven, remove the beans and paper, and leave to cool completely.
- Spoon the filling into the pastry case and level the top. Roll out then trim the remaining pastry, so it’s slightly larger than the tin. Reserve the trimmings. Dampen the edges of the pastry case with water, then lay the pastry lid on top. Press to seal, then neaten the edges. Cut thin strips from some of the leftover pastry and twist. Sit these neatly around the edge of the pie to create a raised edge, so the cranberry topping can sit on top.
- Brush the whole pie with beaten egg (reserving some for the decoration) and bake for 35-40 mins until golden brown. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry trimmings and cut out about 10 shapes using snowflake cutters. Put them on a baking tray, brush with the reserved egg and bake for the last 15 mins of the pie’s cooking time. Remove the pie from the oven, leave to cool completely, then remove from the tin and transfer to a serving plate. Transfer the snowflakes to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
- While the pie is baking, make the cranberry topping. Put all of the ingredients except the rosemary in a large pan and simmer for 15-20 mins or until thickened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. Spoon over the pie to cover, top with the pastry snowflakes and garnish with rosemary sprigs.
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Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Pie can be frozen with or without the topping for up to 1 month. Once completely cool, wrap well in clingfilm and foil. Defrost fully before serving. In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.
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