- STEP 1
Tip: Remember to get pastry out of fridge 45 mins prior to use. Using a large non-stick frying pan, heat 2 tbsp of the oil. Gently fry the diced or cubed chicken for approx 7-8 mins until golden brown all over, add a little seasoning as you prefer, if using dried thyme add it to this stage of the cooking to allow time for the herb to release its flavour. Do this in batches, if using a smaller pan. Place a sieve or colander over a bowl, pop the chicken into this to drain liquids and aid cooling. Into the same frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, add the onion, after 1-2 minutes, add the mushrooms and fresh thyme, then fry on a high heat for another 3 mins until the onions start to colour. Once cooked add this to the pre-cooked chicken to drain liquids and cool. Add a handful of frozen petit pois for sweetness and colour. No need to thaw.
- STEP 2
Empty the can of condensed soup into a medium pan. Tip. Keep can! Use the cream of mushroom one rather than chicken as this will enhance these flavours to balance those of the chicken. Using the empty soup can, add the juices of the drained pie filling top up with water to half a tin. This provides additional liquid necessary to turn the condensed soup into a ready-made mushroom sauce. Gently heat the soup and stir the liquid together until smooth. Add additional water to suit your personal consistency preference. Leave to cool.
- STEP 3
Add the cooked and cooled pie filling to the sauce and gently stir coating all the meat. Spoon the filling into a large pie or baking dish (approx 20 cm.) with a lip. Pre-heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.
- STEP 4
Using a floured surface, roll out the pastry to 3-4mm thick and at least 30mm larger on all sides of the dish shape you intend to use. Cut a long strip the width of the pie dish rim approx 1cm, brush with the egg, and fix pastry strip to the edge of the pie dish. Brush the strip again with egg, then using a rolling pin to lift the remaining pastry over the pie. Gently crimp around the edges with a fork and trim with a sharp knife. Brush lightly with egg to glaze. If you would like to decorate the top, you can use any of the pasty off-cuts to create leaves or shapes, press them onto the glazed top, and re-glaze these, finally, a gentle sprinkle of dried thyme or italian herbs, freshly ground sea salt and black pepper on top. Last, but not least, put a small knife incision or hole in the centre of the crust to allow the steam to escape.
- STEP 5
You are now ready to bake. Tip. If you are placing dish directly on rails pop a tray underneath in case the sauce decides to make an early exit. Place towards top of oven, 30 mins or until the pastry is slightly risen and dark golden brown.