This Christmas Pie is a seasonal twist on my favourite Chicken and Ham Hock Pie and full of festive flavours. Don’t be put off by the long recipe, it’s worth the wait and makes the perfect addition to the larder if you have guests staying over Christmas. The cranberries and chestnuts add a cheerful and colourful layer of stuffing to the pie.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!
MY CHICKEN AND HAM CHRISTMAS PIE
- 1 lb 5¼ oz (600g) home-cooked ham hock
- 1 lb 5¼ oz (600g) boned weight of chicken thighs, skinned
- 800 ml chicken stock
- 4 tsp. chopped thyme
- 3½ oz (100g) fresh cranberries
- 7 oz (200g) cooked chestnuts
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 oz (30g) butter
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 gelatine leaves
For the hot-water crust pastry:
- 0.4 pt (200 ml) water
- 6 oz (170g) lard
- 15¾ oz (450g) plain flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
For the cranberry topping:
- 150g cranberries
- 100ml orange Juice
- 1 heaped tablespoon sugar
- 1 tsp thyme
First make the pastry.
On a low heat cook the onion in the butter for 4-5 minutes until soft. Leave to cool.
In a food processor mince a third of the chicken thighs, a third of the ham and a pinch of salt. In a large bowl mix the processed meat with the chopped onions, cranberries, chestnuts and parsley and season.
Slice the ham into slices roughly 3cm thick. Put the chicken thighs between 2 sheets of clingfilm and batter them out with a rolling pin till roughly the same thickness as the ham.
Pre-heat the oven to 175°C/gas mark 6.
Mix the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Bring the water and lard to the boil in a saucepan then stir it into the flour with a wooden spoon to form a smooth dough. Leave the pastry for 5 minutes if too hot to handle.
Lightly grease a pie ring measuring 15-20cm by about 8-10cm deep and line the bottom with a disc of lightly greased greaseproof paper. Place it on a lined grease proofed baking tray.
Take two thirds of the dough and on a lightly floured table, roll it into a circle so it is large enough to line the pie ring and overlap the edge. Roll and place the pastry into the flan ring, carefully press into the corners and allow it to just hang over the edge. Roll the remaining pastry into a circle for the lid.
Cover the bottom of the pie with a layer of ham and season, then a layer of chicken and season again. Next add a thick layer of cranberry and chestnut mixture pushing down firmly. Finish the filling with a layer of ham and finally a layer of chicken remembering to season each layer.
Brush the pie edges with egg wash and place the lid on top. Trim the edges of the pastry with a knife and pinch the base and top pastry edges together with your thumb to crimp the pie and create a seal.
Brush the top of the pie all over with the beaten egg, make a hole in the middle of the pastry lid and cook for 1 hour. Remove the ring and brush the sides and top again with egg before baking for a further 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once the pie is cold refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Now for the jelly, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until they soften and squeeze out any water. Heat about a third of the chicken stock in a saucepan and stir in the gelatine until it's dissolved then stir into the rest of the stock. Leave to cool but do not let it set.
For the cranberry topping, to a pan add all the ingredients except the thyme and over a medium heat bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes reducing just a little. Allow to cool.
Grab your cold pie and check around the pastry for any holes and fill them with softened butter so that the jelly doesn't escape. Cut the top of the pastry off in a circle keeping the edges intact, I use a small plate to guide me. Pour the jelly into the pastry until the pie is filled with jelly. Cool in fridge until jelly is set. Grab your cranberry topping and carefully place a layer over the exposed top of the pie, then sprinkled some loose thyme for the finishing touch. Enjoy!