Traditional chicken pie is a classic dish you’ll want to make again and again. But don’t be lazy and make your own pastry cause you couldn’t find such delicious, buttery, and flaky crust anywhere else.
What is this dough?
There are four pastry styles:
- Crumbly pastry
- Flaky pastry
- Laminated pastry
- Laminated bread (HYBRIDS)
All four styles depend on how the fat was incorporated and whether we need develop lots of gluten or not.
To my mind, crumbly pastry has the simplest technique, and this pastry is for all your tarts. The laminated pastry is the hardest cause you have to make all those perfect layers. For instance, it’s very hard to make a perfect strudel.
The hybrid pastry is all the croissants, pain au chocolat, and Danish pastries. I, myself, practiced the hybrid pastry a lot, so here you can find the recipes and more information:
- Pain Au Chocolat Recipe |+How To Make Laminated Dough
- How to make French croissant recipe by hand | Classic
And today, we’re making the flaky pastry. It is great for all American pies and today’s traditional chicken pie. To create flakiness, we have to control gluten development, make it not too much, so here perfectly works all-purpose flour.
Also, as I said above, it’s important how fat is incorporated. So, to make a flaky pastry, we have to (I quote from ‘On food & cooking‘) ‘disperse some of the fat evenly into the dough, separating small particles from each other, and some coarsely, separating different layers of the dough from each other.’
A pro tip to make perfect traditional chicken pie dough
The key is to use cold butter straight from the fridge, ice-cold water, and always keep the dough chilled in the fridge. Take it out only when you need to. Work the dough fast but confident.
It ensures we inhibited excessive gluten development and created buttery and flaky crust instead of greasy. Working with the dough quickly without overworking guarantees tender and flaky crust. The more you work the dough, the more it will become crumbly pastry, and we don’t want that.
By the way, it is easier to work with a well-rested dough as we let the gluten (even though we have little of it) relax and flour absorb the water entirely.
Traditional chicken pie recipe | Best of all
270g chicken breast
1 onion (110g)
1 carrot (110g)
1/2 chicken stock cube (dissolve 1/2 cube in 300ml boiling water)
200ml double cream
Celery root and leek (optional)
- Pie crust
190g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
115g cold unsalted butter
3-4 tbsp ice-cold water
- Before final baking
1 whole whisked egg
- Make the pastry
- In a food processor, pour flour, sugar, and salt. Mix them a little so they distribute evenly. Then add cold butter (cut in cubes) and pulse everything until you get pea-sized or a little larger butter pieces.
- Pour in the ice-cold water (DON’T POUR EVERYTHING AT ONCE!) and pulse a little. The dough shouldn’t be wet or sticky.
- Take it out of the food processor, knead fast, but confident for a few seconds, so it comes together into a ball.
- Cling film the pastry ball and refrigerate while you make the filling.
- Make the filling
- Mise en place. Cut chicken breast, onion, carrot (and celery if you chose) into cubes. Have prepared to use peas, chicken stock (dissolve 1/2 cube in 300ml boiling water), butter, flour, and double cream.
- In a pan, pour a little oil and fry the chicken cubes until golden brown. Then take them out.
- In the same pan, fry vegetables for about 10 minutes, then add fried chicken and peas, season everything with salt, pepper, and other seasonings if you like.
- Add butter and flour. Mix everything very well.
- Pour chicken stock and double cream. Mix everything and simmer till the sauce thickens.
- Make and bake the pie
- Preheat the oven at 200°C.
- Take the dough out of the fridge, divide it into two balls (one of them is bigger than the other), flour the surface, and roll both to about 0.4cm thickness circles.
- In a round 20cm dish (or another dish that is similar size), lay baking paper and the bigger dough circle. Make sure you have the dough on the sides. On top of it, place another baking paper with uncooked beans or any other grain that can work like weight. Bake it in the oven for about 15 minutes.
- After it’s done, take the beans with second baking paper out. Pour in the filling.
- Cover with a smaller circle of the dough. It’s your choice of how you want the top to look, but I usually choose lattice; it looks more traditional.
- In a small bowl, beat one egg and brush the pastry, so we have nice golden brown color after baking.
- Bake the traditional chicken pie in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. Then take it out, let it rest for 10 minutes, and enjoy!