- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 3 carrots, chopped
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…
- 850ml hot chicken stock
- 50g butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 2 onions, chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 50g plain flour
- 300ml milk
One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…
- juice of 1 lemon
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…
- 4 thin slices ham, cut into strips
- 500g pack shortcrust pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…
Put the chicken in a large pan with the carrots, potatoes, celery, half the thyme and seasoning. Add stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook gently for 15 minutes. Set a colander over a large bowl, pour in the pan contents and remove thyme. Reserve 600ml/1 pint stock (rest can be frozen).
Rinse the pan, return to heat and melt the butter. Cook the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, then the reserved stock a little at a time, to make a smooth thick sauce. Add the milk and simmer for 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the remaining thyme, lemon juice and parsley. Season.
Mix together the chicken, vegetables and ham in a deep 2.2litre/4 pint ovenproof dish, preferably with a rim or lip. Pour over the sauce and leave to cool slightly. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C.
Roll out the pastry to about 5cm/2in larger than the top of the dish. Cut a 2.5cm/1in strip from all round the pastry. Brush the rim of the dish with egg and press the strip all round. Brush with egg and lift the pastry on to it, pressing the edges to seal thoroughly. Trim off excess, then mark the pastry edge all round with a fork. Make 4 small slits in the centre. Brush with egg and bake for 25–30 minutes until crisp and golden.