Chicken, tarragon & watercress puff pie served on a table

Chicken, tarragon & watercress puff pie

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(1 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 45 mins

More effort

Serves 4-6

Try one of our favourite spring showstoppers, with a fragrant watercress and tarragon sauce coating tender chicken, all topped with a crusty puff pastry

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: Per serving (6)

  • kcal562
  • fat26g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs25g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre6g
  • protein50g
  • salt1g
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  • 1.4kg whole chicken



    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

  • 1 leek, chopped



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 carrot, chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 onion, sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 200g frozen peas



    A type of legume, peas grow inside long, plump pods. As is the case with all types of legume,…

  • 200g watercress



    With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of…

  • 1 bunch of tarragon, woody stalks removed, chopped



    A popular and versatile herb, tarragon has an intense flavour that's a unique mix of sweet…

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 4 tbsp soured cream
  • 320g sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten



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

  • mashed potato and carrots, to serve (optional)


  1. Poach the chicken (you can do this ahead, if you like). Put it breast-side down in a large pot with half the leek, bay, carrot and peppercorns and cover with cold water. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce the heat to a light simmer. Cover and poach for 45 mins. Carefully remove the chicken from the water (drain the cavity so you don’t scald yourself), remove the breasts from the carcass and return the carcass to the poaching liquid for a further 12 mins. Remove the chicken from the pot and leave to cool, then strip the meat off the bones. Boil the stock until reduced by at least half, then strain.

  2. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Heat the butter and olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Fry the remaining leek, onion and garlic for 8 mins until softened and aromatic. Deglaze with the wine and cook off for a few mins, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the peas to the pan, along with the watercress and tarragon. Pour over 200ml of the stock, season, grate over the zest of the lemon and add a little of the lemon juice. Bring to the boil and cook for a further 3 mins until the peas are cooked. Purée the sauce using a food processor or stick blender, then stir in the soured cream. Taste and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice if needed. Add the chicken to the sauce.

  3. Pour the pie filling into a 23-25cm pie dish and allow to cool a little. Cut a circle from the puff pastry sheet the same size as the pie dish and top with the pastry. Use a pie bird or cut a slit to let out steam. Crimp the edges with a fork, brush over the beaten egg and bake for 30 mins until the crust is puffed and golden. Serve with mashed potato and carrots, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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18th May, 2018
You don't really need a whole chicken, about 4 chicken thighs is plenty. Still, it's very good and recommend making it.
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