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Woodfired Chicken Pie – We Love National Pie Week

It’s National Pie Week, when we celebrate the deliciousness of pies of every kind. Are you a proponent of the pork pie, an adherent of apple tarts, a sucker for a suet pudding?  If so this is your week, a time to stand up, place your hand on your heart and declare your passion for pastry encrusted goodness.

We thought we’d take the opportunity to rustle up a pie or 2 in the wood fired oven of course – to show yet again it’s not just for pizzas! Here’s what we did –

David and his amazing woodfired pie.

We made a flaky pastry but you can use bought flaky pastry, that’s fine (if you want to see what we did check out the method here)

Dabbling not dibbling

The butter and lard mix goes over 2/3 of the pastry dough

remember the bottom first always

Fold the bottom third up and the top third down

rolling out

Turn at 90 degrees and roll out before the same folding process

more folding

Fold up from the bottom and down from the top again

and relax

Wrap in clingfilm and chill

Then we made a filling by sweating 1 large finely chopped leek until soft in 2tbsp olive oil. Then we added 100g ham (or you can use bacon lardons) with 250g cooked chicken bits (from a roast chicken we had had the night before for dinner). Next we added 2tbsp chopped fresh parsley and one and a half tbsp plain flour and cooked that for a minute or so over a low heat. Then we added 100ml chicken stock and 100ml dry white wine and stirred til it came to the boil. Let that simmer for 5 minutes before adding 2 heaped tbsp creme fraiche and that’s your filling. All good so far then!

While this had all been happening, David had heated the oven with a good fire to saturate the walls and floor. The fire was allowed to burn down so there weren’t any flames but the oven was still good and hot. The door went on and it was all left to stabilise at around 250C on the floor – that’s three and a half Mississippi if you want to do the hand test we’ve talked about before in our blog.

Back in the kitchen we cut the pastry into 2 halves and rolled one half out to form the base in the bottom of the medium of these steel kadai pans from our friends at BigFire – about 25cm in diameter.

Then the ham, leek and chicken filling went in and the other rolled-out pastry half went on top, was trimmed, crimped and brushed with egg wash. An air hole was cut into the middle and the pie went into the oven for 25 minutes.

Using a wooden spoon

Fill the pie base with the leek mixture

seal the edges first

Trim with a sharp knife

Finger to thumb

Nice crimping skills

Don't forget the air hole

Egg washed and ready for the oven

Steel on the floor

On the oven floor in the hot oven – 3 Mississippi

Nicely browned

Beautifully cooked

The filling is obviously already cooked so it’s a question of making sure the pastry is cooked through. The great thing about the kadai is it’s got a thin metal base which on the hot oven floor makes sure the heat penetrates quickly and the bottom of the pastry is cooked through and crisp – no soggy bottoms!

No soggy bottoms

Nice crisp base, cooked right through

Don't mind if I do!

Perfect for lunch!