Chicken, cranberry & stilton pie recipe

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  • Yield: 8 Servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 2 Hours 10 Minutes


For the Pastry Dough
  • 3⅓ cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 3½ tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon milk
For the Chicken, Cranberry & Stilton Filling
  • 2 skinless chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally
  • 10½ ounces skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into ½- to ¾-inch pieces
  • 1 strip cooked Canadian bacon, finely chopped
  • 1⅔ cups cranberries, thawed if frozen
  • ½ cup crumbled Stilton cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
  • scant 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Spiced Apple Chutney, to serve
How to Make It
  1. Mix together the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and make a well in the center. Melt the lard and butter in a pot with ⅔ cup water over low heat, then pour it into the flour. Add the egg yolk and use your hands to mix to a dough. Cover with a clean cloth and let cool 5 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and leave it 20 minutes until cool enough to work.
  2. Put the chicken in a pan and just cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn the heat down to low, cover with a lid and cook 12 minutes until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the chicken is pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Drain and set aside to dry.
  3. Heat the oven to 425°F. Put a cookie sheet in the oven to heat up and grease a springform cake tin. I use a 6¼-inch tin but you can use an 8-inch tin to make a shallower pie. Mix together the chicken, bacon, cranberries, Stilton, thyme and parsley, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Break off about one-quarter of the dough, then roll out the remainder on a lightly floured surface to a circle large enough to use to line the base and side of the prepared tin. Fill with the meat mixture. Roll out the remaining dough into a circle large enough for the top of the pie. Brush the edge of the base with water and seal the lid on top by crimping the pastry edges together with a fork. Make a small hole in the center. Mix the egg and milk and brush it over the top. Roll and cut the trimmings to decorate the top, then brush again.
  5. Put the pie on the hot cookie sheet and bake about 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 315°F and bake 1½ hours longer until golden brown. Cover with foil if it browns too quickly.
  6. Bring the broth to just below a simmer in a pan, then remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatin. Slowly pour the hot broth into the hole in the pie, stopping when it reaches the top. Let cool, then chill 2 hours in the refrigerator. Serve with spiced apple chutney.

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