Four & twenty chicken & ham pie

Four & twenty chicken & ham pie

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(7 ratings)

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

A challenge

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

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice (12)

  • kcal695
  • fat33g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs47g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre4g
  • protein53g
  • salt3.6g
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  • 1 large onion, chopped



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

  • 1 tbsp butter, plus extra for greasing



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

  • 1 tbsp chopped sage



    Popular in both Italian and British cookery, sage has long, grey-green leaves with a slightly…

  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 300g boneless, skinless chicken thigh (about 3)
  • 1kg cooked ham, trimmed of fat and thickly sliced
  • 50g shelled pistachio
  • 50g cranberry (fresh or frozen)


    A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…

  • 50g dried apricot, diced
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • good grating nutmeg



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

  • 700g skinless chicken breast, halved to thin
  • chutney and salad to serve, (optional)

For the pastry

  • 375g plain white flour
  • 375g strong white flour
  • 140g butter



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

  • 175g lard
  • 1 egg, beaten



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

For the jelly

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


  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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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8th Nov, 2017
I've made this with rabbit and duck too. really good pie and a firm family favourite all year round
4th Dec, 2016
Had a bit of trouble with a crack in the pastry. This means it did not hold the jelly. Will it matter? I am freezing the pie and defrosting it for boxing day.
2nd Dec, 2016
I made this after Christmas last year. It was amazing!!! Absolutely stunning recipe. Yes, raw chicken, left over ham and the nut/fruit mix. It came out like a regal pie which everyone enjoyed! Looking forward to it again. Merry Christmas :)
16th Nov, 2016
Hi there - newbie to meat pies, here. Do you serve this chilled? Can you serve it warm? Or would the filling just destroy the integrity of the pie if warm?
8th Nov, 2017
The jelly will melt
30th Jan, 2015
This was a joy and something of a stress to "build" or bake! Like the comments below the pie took longer then the recipe dictates, but for the keen cook we use common sense and it came together in the end. Spend the day before planning your steps as its a long process, I think it took me a good four hours in total from start to finish. Also it's incredibly heavy, so plan your fridge and table arrangements. As for the pie it's self, it was marvelous. It went down very well with the crowd and even impressed my chef mates! Good luck and enjoy it!
5th Jan, 2013
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.
3rd Jan, 2013
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.
31st Dec, 2012
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 :-)
30th Dec, 2012
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.


4th Dec, 2016
Had a bit of trouble with a crack in the pastry. This means it did not hold the jelly. Will it matter? I am freezing the pie and defrosting it for boxing day
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Dec, 2016
Hi there, it does mean you won't have the layer of jelly of course but the pie will still be very tasty come Boxing Day. Enjoy!
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