Sunday, 3 June 2012

Jubilee Chicken Pie

Please do admire, if you will, my pie. My Jubilee chicken and stuffing pie – isn’t it a thing of beauty? Good Food (June 2012 – I told you it was a bumper issue) call it chicken and stuffing picnic pie, but I am calling it a Jubilee Chicken Pie because of the pastry crown. I am very pleased with the crown.

I made it last night in preparation for the Jubilee picnic we went to today. There doesn’t seem to have been a huge amount of Jubilee stuff going on in our village. Plenty of flags and bunting up, a few street parties (not on my street, sadly),  and a Jubilee church service this morning, but we have a big village festival happening in July – the Sheepfair :  it happens once every 4 years, and it’s BIG – and the general feeling at the picnic today was that people were probably saving themselves for that. However, Sheepfair notwithstanding, the wonderful Samantha Barnes organised a Jubilee ‘Big Lunch’, and what a great afternoon it was.

If you haven’t heard of the Big Lunch before, you can read more on their website . Basically, the idea is to get people to get together and have lunch with their neighbours, in an act of community, friendship and fun. This year’s ‘Big Lunch’ day coincided with the Jubilee weekend – even more reason to get together and have a bit of a party, especially as we were deprived of a street party, (mainly because of the fact that we live on the same road as a fire station, which tends to prevent road closures for recreational purposes). It was all very convivial and although by the time Pink and I left, it was starting to resemble the end of a wedding reception – empty bottle-strewn tables and a few of us ‘ladies’ (for I would be lying if I tried to pretend I wasn’t guilty) dancing to Abba with our daughters, the menfolk having retreated earlier in proceedings – it was a great success.

But back to my pie (for I took loads of pics during construction and I must share). This is one of those ‘I am my own worst enemy’ stories. I saw this pie and was instantly seduced. Seduced enough to buy chicken breasts which I hardly EVER do these days, for various reasons, mostly cost because I’m quite picky about the kind of chicken I will buy, and it’s much better value for money to buy a whole chicken and go from there than to buy individual portions.

I had all the ingredients I needed and an event to bake it for. The spanner was going to see Coldplay on Friday night, which was a truly amazing experience. It’s a long time since I’ve been to a proper concert like that and I was not disappointed, but I was very tired yesterday as a result. The afternoon ticked on into evening, a brief foray out to a friend’s for some Pimms, and before I knew it, it was nearly 8 and I still had to make the pie.

take a deep breath
 While we were eating tea (pizza, from a shop – oh how the mighty have fallen) the Husband had a read of the recipe in the mag (the link to the online recipe is up at the top there). “Cold water pastry?” he commented, knowingly. I could feel my shoulders tensing up. Pastry – never my strong point. But pastry was required, so pastry it had to be. It uses half butter, half suet and actually, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I had a moment when I took it out of the food processor when I had to take a deep breath and tell myself it wasn’t all going to collapse, and in the end, it was fine. It rolled out fairly easily, and stayed put in the tin while I filled it.

 It's filled with a layer of stuffing, a layer of chicken breasts, sliced in half to make thinner pieces of chicken and quickly browned, and then topped with the meat squeezed out of a pack of sausages. The lid was a bit of a fiddle to bet in but with the help of a pair of scissors, I managed to get everything trimmed and neat looking, with enough pastry left over for the crown. A quick egg wash later and in the oven for 50 minutes, after which you whip it out of the oven, egg wash a second time and put back for another 10 minutes.

ready to go!

It was deliciously golden and came out of the tin perfectly.

I might not have squodged the filling down quite enough because it was a little loose on cutting, but a fine pie nonetheless.

Happy Jubilee, your Majesty!


  1. This is genius!
    I'd love to feature it on my facebook page so if you are interested just link it here..
    Rachael (from Mumsnet)

    1. Hi Rachael - duly linked! What a great link up - I will try and revisit. Can you let me know where your facebook page is?

    2. Thanks so much!
      Facebook link is here
      I've just featured you on my blog too. :)
      I love making pies for my Swedish family but unfortunately they never go down well.


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