Four & twenty chicken & ham pie

Four & twenty chicken & ham pie

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(5 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 45 mins Plus cooling and chilling

Skill level

For the keen cook

Servings

Cuts into 12-15 slices

There aren't any blackbirds baked into it, but this stunning centrepiece will impress with its layers of nuts, fruit, chicken and gammon

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per slice (12)

kcalories
695
protein
53g
carbs
47g
fat
33g
saturates
14g
fibre
4g
sugar
4g
salt
3.6g

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 300g boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 3)
  • 1kg cooked ham, trimmed of fat and thickly sliced
  • 50g shelled pistachios
  • 50g cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 50g dried apricots, diced
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • good grating nutmeg
  • 700g skinless chicken breasts, halved to thin
  • chutney and salad to serve, (optional)

For the pastry

  • 375g plain white flour
  • 375g strong white flour
  • 140g butter
  • 175g lard
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the jelly

  • 3 gelatine leaves
  • 500ml strong chicken stock, heated

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Method

  1. Soften the onion in the butter with the sage and mace. Cool for a few mins while you whizz the chicken thighs and 300g of the ham in a food processor until minced. Scrape into a large bowl and stir in the softened onion, pistachios, cranberries, apricots and parsley. Season with nutmeg, lots of black pepper and some salt.
  2. Grease a deep, 20cm round springform or loose-bottomed tin, then line with baking parchment. To make the pastry, mix together the flours and 2 tsp salt in a large bowl, then make a well in the centre. Put the butter and lard into a small pan with 200ml water and very gently melt. Once melted, turn up the heat and when just bubbling, pour into the well and stir with a wooden spoon to a dough – don’t worry if some powdery bits remain.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, knead in the bowl until the dough comes together, then tip onto your work surface. Set aside a third, wrapped in a clean tea towel to keep it as warm and pliable as possible, while you quickly roll the remaining dough into a large circle – big enough to line the tin with a little overhanging.
  4. Ease the circle into the tin, pressing evenly into the corners and side – you can be rough with it. Evenly cover the base with half the remaining sliced ham, followed by half the chicken breasts and half the mince mixture, pressing firmly to pack. Repeat with the remaining ham and chicken, then a rounded dome of mince. Put a pie funnel, if you have one, on the top.
  5. Roll the reserved dough to a circle large enough to easily cover the pie, cutting out a hole (if using a pie funnel). Brush the edge of the pie with some beaten egg and top with the pastry lid. Press to seal the edges before trimming the excess. Crimp the edges between your thumb and forefinger to seal thoroughly, then make a small hole in the middle to let steam escape (if not using a pie funnel). Brush the top of the pie with more beaten egg.
  6. Heat oven to 200C/180 fan/gas 6. Bake the pie for 1 hr. Very, very carefully remove the pie from its tin, brush the top and side with more egg and bake for another 30 mins until browned and crisp. Leave to cool completely before chilling.
  7. To make the jelly, soak the gelatine in cold water for 5-10 mins until soft. Squeeze out any excess water from the gelatine, then dissolve in the hot stock. Once cooled, carefully pour into your chilled pie through the small hole, using a funnel, until full – you may not need all the stock. Chill the pie for a few hrs. Serve with chutney and salad, if you like.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2012

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Comments

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martinbunte's picture

I made this for a New Year party. It took a lot longer than envisaged so leave yourself plenty of time. Pie looked amazing and tasted even better. Only needed 200ml of the stock/ jelly mixture and the pie was full. I added the jelly mix after leaving the pie in the fridge for 7 hours.

toffee7716's picture

An absolutely fantastic festive centrepiece which I made for a party of 12 for New Year's Eve . Tasted wonderful, no soggy bottom and spectacular to look at when cut. Follow the recipe to the letter and slice the chicken breast thinly . Though my pie did not leak use a GF tip from another year and keep back some raw pastry to plug any cracks . Scrape away pastry when stock sets inside. Will certainly do this again as everyone was bowled over.

soniavai's picture
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I made this pie for a family gathering over Christmas and it went down really well. Was certainly a centre piece and weighed in at a healthy 7 pounds! My husband and I Made this together as joint effort as he is slowly getting into cooking. We did not change anything and it came out perfect. A few leaks with the stock but this did not cause any problems and did not need it all. Will definitely make again for a crowd as plenty to share :-)

rachykay's picture
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This pie was a great centrepiece for Boxing Day. Wasn't able to roll out the pastry so moulded it around the tin. Didn't affect the outcome of the pie. I froze my pie and then defrosted it the night before..caution..took a long time to defrost as such a dense pie! Tasted great and looked impressive.

bellamyz's picture
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Sorry forgot to rate, definitely a 5 starer!!

bellamyz's picture
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Would usually avoid recipe 'for the keen cook' (although in the magazine it's listed as 'more of a challenge') but it's actually not difficult to make at all, just takes a while!! I made this a few weeks before Christmas and froze it, then served for lunch on Boxing Day with mashed potatoes, peas, salad and pickles. Everyone loved it and I'll definitely make it again. My pastry did have quite a few cracks so when it came to pouring the jelly in there was quite a bit of leakage, but it didn't make any difference to the taste. I found it difficult to cut into slices but no big deal!

sonicboom's picture
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Made this the week before Christmas for a small family gathering using the leftover Apricot and Ginger Ham (same issue of GF magazine) which I'd made the week before. A fabulous, spectacular and festive centerpiece. Easy to make so long as you follow the recipe closely - read it well before you start. Chicken should definitely be raw when you start, otherwise I think it would dry out too much. First time I had made a hot crust pastry, and it handles very differently to normal pastry, but you can be quite rough with it when lining the tin without affecting the finished dish. Well worth trying it, and I-ll do it again - perhaps ringing the changes with different spices/meats etc.

laineyvee's picture
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I made this at the weekend for the pre-Christmas family gathering and it went down a storm. I didn't cook the chicken beforehand and it was perfectly cooked after 1 1/2 hours (although you can't check until you cut the pie!). It is a bit of a labour of love to make and you need to read the recipe carefully before you start. The pastry wouldn't roll out so had to use my hands to line the dish with it but this didn't affect finished pie - definately worth it!

annpetrie's picture

Should the chicken in the recipie be cooked before you start. I assume it should but just before I start???

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