Chicken, ham & asparagus picnic pie on white board with the first slice cut

Chicken, ham & asparagus picnic pie

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Prep: 2 hrs, 15 mins Cook: 1 hr, 50 mins Plus chilling

More effort

Serves 10-12

Create a showstopping picnic pie with chicken, ham, asparagus and pistachios. It takes a bit of effort, but it’s well worth it and can be made ahead

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal776
  • fat46g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs50g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre6g
  • protein38g
  • salt2.9g
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Ingredients

    For the filling

    • 300g asparagus spears
    • 4 chicken breasts
    • 10 slices prosciutto
      Prosciutto

      Prosciutto

      proh-shoo-toe

      Prosciutto is sweet, delicate ham intended to be eaten raw. The word 'prosciutto' is the…

    • 1.2kg good quality pork sausages, meat squeezed out of the skins, or sausagemeat
    • 150g shelled pistachios
    • pinch cayenne pepper

    For the pastry

    • 75g butter, plus extra for the tin
      Butter

      Butter

      butt-err

      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 600g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
    • 1 tsp mustard powder
    • whole nutmeg, for grating
      Nutmeg

      Nutmeg

      nut-meg

      One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

    • 75g lard
    • 5 tbsp milk

      Milk

      mill-k

      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

    • 1 egg, beaten
      Eggs

      Egg

      egg

      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

    To serve

    • shallots, finely sliced into rings, salad leaves and French dressing (optional)

    Method

    1. Trim the woody ends off the asparagus (see pic 1 in step by step above) ), bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook them for 2 mins, then lift into a bowl of iced water. Slice the tips off the asparagus and set aside. Cut each chicken breast into long two-finger-thick strips (pic 2), then wrap the prosciutto slices around some of the asparagus spears and chicken strips (pic 3) and set aside. Using your hands, scrunch the sausagemeat with the pistachios in a bowl, season with the cayenne and lots of black pepper, then set aside.

    2. Cut a piece of baking parchment to fit the bottom and sides of a lightly buttered 2-litre terrine dish or loaf tin, leaving an overhang (pic 4). To make the pastry, tip the flour into a bowl with 2 tsp salt and the mustard powder, then grate in a small pinch of nutmeg. Put the lard, butter and milk in a pan with 250ml water and heat until the fats have completely melted. Pour into the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until combined. Tip onto your work surface and knead briefly until it all comes together.

    3. Take 2/3 of the dough and wrap the rest so it doesn’t dry out. Roll it out into a rectangle to line the dish with an overhang. Lay the dough into the dish and, using your fingers, press it into the bottom, corners and up the sides (pic 5).

    4. Take 1/4 of the sausage mixture and pat it into a shape that will fit the dish, then lay it in. Now build up the pie with alternate layers of the asparagus, chicken strips and sausagemeat (pic 6), pressing down the mixture with your hands as you go, finishing with a bulging top layer of sausagemeat.

    5. Brush the overhanging pastry with the beaten egg, then roll out the remainder and drape it over the top of the pie filling (pic 7). Press the edges together gently, then use a small knife to trim the pastry (pic 8). Crimp the edges by pinching your fingers (pic 9) and use pastry trimmings to decorate the top, if you like. Brush with egg and pierce three holes along the top.

    6. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 with a baking sheet in it. Place the pie on the hot sheet and bake for 1 hr 45 mins. Lower the heat to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 if the pie is browning too much. When the pie has 20 mins left, brush the top with more egg and season with flaky sea salt. (Don’t worry if some juice leaks out of the side.) It’s ready when the pastry is dark golden brown or when a digital cooking thermometer inserted through one of the holes reads 70C or more. Leave to cool, then chill. Can be made up to three days ahead. To serve, carefully remove from the tin, place on a board and slice. Make a salad with the asparagus tips, shallot rings, salad leaves and French dressing, if you like.

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