This is what you'll need to make a 10 or 12 serving pie:
450g plain flour
200 salted butter
500g chicken breasts
1kg sausage meat
grated zest of 1 lemon
200g fresh breadcrumbs
150g chopped dried apricots
100g chopped chestnuts
200g dried cranberries
1 finely chopped onion
1 beaten egg yolk
a little olive oil and butter for frying.
Step 1: Start by Making Your Short Crust Pastry.
For those who have never made pastry before, the secret is to work it as little as possible to avoid shrinkage.
Pulse the butter and flour in a mixer to achieve a breadcrumb like consistency. Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and add the water slowly spoon by spoon until the dough forms.
Wrap it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge whilst you get on with the filling.
Step 2: Prepare Your Stuffing and Chicken
Take 1kg of sausage meat, and add 200 of fresh breadcrumbs, 150g chopped dried apricots, 100g chopped chestnuts, 200 dried cranberries the grated zest of one lemon and an onion finely chopped and fried.
Add salt and black pepper and get your hands in a give it a good mix.
Take four chicken breasts, cut them into strips and brown in a pan with butter and oil.
(I use the same pan I used for the onion)
Step 3: Roll Out Your Pastry and Start Your Layers.
(I use a 25cm diameter tin which I line with parchment paper first. Don't trim off the excess parchment paper as you'll need it to lift out the pie later)
Put half of your stuffing at the bottom, then place all the browned chicken strips before covering once again withe the second half of the stuffing.
Step 4: Roll Out the Cover and Decorate
Make a small cut in the middle and insert a "chimney" (a piece of parchment paper rolled round a wooden spoon). Fix it in place with a little pastry.
Finally ask the most artistic of your children to decorate the top.
Brush egg yolk over the top and pop it in the oven 190°C for 50 minutes.
Step 5: It Smells Good. It Must Be Nearly Ready.
Lift it out with the help of the parchment paper before trimming off the extra paper.