Sunday, 20 November 2011

Little Pies with Chicken Ham Chestnuts and Cranberries

Another great freeze-away for Christmas, small savoury pies.  These ones have a bit of a festive edge with cranberries and chestnuts.

For the pastry

8 oz plain flour
2 oz butter, chilled and cut into cubes
2 oz white cooking fat, chilled and cut into cubes
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp English mustard powder
a little chilled water

Seive together the salt, flour and mustard powder.

Rub the fats into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs,  add cold water 1 tbsp at a time until the mixture forms a dough that is not too wet.

Place the dough in clingfilm and rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

For the filling

2 large chicken breasts, cut into smallish pieces
1 small red onion, finely chopped
100 g vacuum packed chestnuts, chopped
25 g dried cranberries
200 g unsmoked bacon, chopped
1 tbsp chopped sage leaves
1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
Salt and freshly milled pepper
150 ml double cream
1 tbsp olive oil
Knob of butter

Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy based frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion and fry gently until softened then add the chicken and bacon, turn the heat up slightly and stir fry for 4 minutes until lightly browned.

Toss in the chestnuts and cranberries and cook for a couple of minutes then add the cream , stir to combine then simmer for 2 minutes.  The cream should reduce a little.

Taste the mixture add pepper and salt, if necessary.

Stir in the chopped herbs and leave to cool while you roll the pastry.

On a lightly floured surface roll the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin and using a 3" round cutter cut out 12 rounds, roll out the remaining pastry and cut out 12 x 2.5" rounds for pie lids.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Place the larger rounds into a 12 hole muffin tin and spoon in the filling, wet the edges of the lids with water and place one on top of each pie, press down the edges to seal and brush each pie with beaten egg.  Cut a couple of slits in the centre then bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle over a little sea salt.

Serve warm or cold.

To freeze, cool completely then wrap in cling film before freezing.  Defrost at room temperature.

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