Ingredients1 quantity shortcrust pastry
1 whole chicken
Any veg you like (I use 3 carrots, 1 stick celery, 1 onion, good handful fine green beans)
Knob of butter
Dash of olive oil
1 tbsp flour
3/4 - 1 pint of vegetable stock
1/2 pint milk
Handy HintIf you do make your own pastry, roll it Rachel Allen style - between two pieces of cling film. No mess, no extra flour to make it dry and easy to transfer to the dish. Simply peel off the top layer of film, and carry it from the underside, removing that piece of film when the pastry is in place. Also, when serving, cut the pastry lid first and set aside. Use a serving spoon to dish up portions of the mixture and replace the pieces of pastry on top. p.s Keep the stock from the boiled chicken and freeze it. Great for making soup!
Method1. Put the chicken in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower heat, replace lid on saucepan and continue to simmer for approx 1 1/2 hours, topping up water as necessary.
2. If you plan to make your own pastry, now is a good time to do it and chill it in the fridge until needed.
3. Once chicken is thoroughly boiled, remove it from the water and allow to cool on a plate.
3. Chop the onion and soften it in a pan with the butter and olive oil, slice the celery thinly and add to the onion.
4. Peel and chop the carrots and cut the green beans into pieces (I usually cut them into three lengthwise). Add to the pan and continue to soften.
5. Shred the chicken and add as much of the meat as you wish to the vegetable mixture. Cook for approximately five minutes. Sprinkle generously with flour to soften the mixture, until it binds together quite well.
6. Mix your prepared vegetable stock with your milk and add to the chicken and veg mixture slowly, stirring to avoid a lumpy sauce. When you are satisfied with the consistency of the mixture (a good saucy, but not too runny, pie filling) transfer to an ovenproof dish.
6. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out quite thinly - you don't want a thick, heavy crust. Lay the pastry over the dish and trim.
6. Bake in a moderate oven (approx 190C/Gas Mark 5) until golden - around 25-30 mins.
Great on its own, or with mashed potatoes.