• 2 large free range chicken breasts (butcher bought - no exception)
  • 2 rolls of puff pastry
  • 2 tps Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs creme fraiche
  • 2 tbs Mushroom ketchup
  • 225 mls chicken stock
  • Fresh thyme and rosemary
  • 100 grams mushrooms
  • 50 grms Gruyere cheese

The very utterance of the word pie makes me weak at the knees. I have been known to go into a trance standing at pie shop windows. Granted there aren't many of them around Dubai, which is why I've put together a simple but delicious recipe so you can make your own.


Step 1

Line up your whopper pie ingredients.

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Step 2

Kick it off by cubing the chicken and quartering the mushrooms.

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Step 3

Rather than grilling or frying, you have to poach the chicken in the stock with the herbs. There's zero fat on the breast so this goes a long way to adding moisture. Do not poach it the entire way through, leave a pink blush because the chicken will have two more cooking stages to go through.

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Step 4

Sling the mushrooms into a pan and cook them as you like. I prefer zero bite in a shroom so I go all the way- about 8 minutes in a good lug of olive oil and well seasoned with salt and plenty of cracked black pepper.

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Step 5

To the mushrooms add the poached chicken, some chicken stock, creme fraiche, mushroom ketchup, and the poached herbs. Then 'sauce-up' over a gentle heat. You can add a good deal of the stock to make sure you have a good saucy consistency because you're gonna learn a sneaky kitchen hack later...

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Step 6

Add the cheese and have a taste and season as you need to. Leave to cool completely.

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Step 7

Kitchen Hack: The Swiss Roux. This is kitchen hack you need to know. It's a quick alternative to arrowroot or cornflour. Just mix 1 tbs of veg oil with 1 tbs of plain flour, two things anyone will have in the cupboard. Mix and add to the sauce IF it needs a speedy thicken.

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Step 8

Get your hands on a couple of individual pie dishes, cut out one disc of puff pastry for the base and another for the lid.

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Step 9

Push the pastry into the pie dish then spoon in equal measures of your chicken mix, pile it up to ensure you get a 'domed' lid for your pie. Flat pies truly do suck.

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Step 10

Set on the second puff lid and seal with a little water, then crimp the two parts as stylishly or as roughly as you want. Cut a cross in the roof to let any steam escape.

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Step 11

To ensure the pie is golden and crisp when it bakes, brush it with a beaten egg. Bake in a 180c oven for about 25 minutes or until golden.

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Step 12

Tuck in!

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Stuff being healthy in January! Serve with a pile of buttered mash and the obligatory mushy peas.

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