Recipe for Old Fashioned Chicken Pie with homemade sour cream pastry

1 large free range chicken
1 T (15 ml) Ina Paarman’s Chicken Spice
2 x 25 g Ina Paarman’s Liquid Chicken Stock
2 cups (500 ml) hot water
1 large onion, cut into ⅛’s
½ cup (125 ml) dry white wine
2 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
10 black peppercorns
2 T (30 ml) sago
1 T (15 ml) butter
1 egg yolk (reserve the white)
juice of ½ lemon
2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
1 t (5 ml) Ina Paarman’s Seasoned Sea Salt
100 g – 125 g cooked ham, cut into ribbons (optional)

Sour cream pastry:
3 cups (360 g) flour
1 t (5 ml) salt
250 g butter
1 cup (250 ml) sour cream or crème fraiche

How to
Season the chicken generously inside and outside with Chicken Spice. Place in a heavy bottomed saucepan with the Chicken Stock dissolved in the hot water. Add onion, wine, bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns. Simmer for 1 ½ hours. When chicken is cooked, remove from the stock. Remove the skin and bones and shred the meat. Return the bones to the stock in the pot, add another 1 – 1 ½ cups of water and boil for 10 minutes. Strain the stock and add sago.

Return the stock to the stove and simmer gently for 10 minutes to cook the sago. Add the butter. Beat the egg yolk and lemon juice with ½ cup of the hot stock and add to the sauce. Bring nearly to the boil. Do not boil, as the egg will curdle.

Add the diced hard-boiled eggs, seasoned with Seasoned Sea Salt, ham and shredded chicken to the sauce. Spoon the mixture into one large or 2 smaller pie dishes. Allow to cool.

Adjust oven rack to one notch below the middle position. Preheat oven to 200°C.

When the chicken mixture is cold, top with pastry, glaze with the leftover egg white beaten with a pinch of both salt and sugar and bake for about 35 – 40 minutes until nicely browned.

Sour cream pastry:
Sift flour and salt twice and cut in the butter with a small knife, a pastry blender (illustrated) or your fingertips. Be very careful if using a food processor, it is inclined to transform the dough into a paste within seconds. The knobs of butter should remain as big a peas, and never become as small as breadcrumbs, or worse, a paste. Leave the flour/butter mixture to stand at room temperature in a cool spot for 20 minutes.

Add all the sour cream at once to the flour mixture and cut in with a knife. Once well blended, use one hand to knead the dough until it holds together and forms a ball.

Never add extra liquid, just continue kneading lightly, the dough will become manageable and start to adhere.

Flatten to a dish – wrap in greaseproof or wax paper.

Leave the dough to rest in the fridge again for half an hour or longer.

Roll out on a floured board and fold into thirds. Turn the dough parcel half a turn so the open side faces towards you. Roll and fold once more in the same way. Let the dough rest wrapped in paper for another half an hour in the fridge.

Repeat the roll and fold process three times more. The dough is now ready for use, or can be refrigerated wrapped in paper and sealed in a plastic bag. Refrigerate for 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Support the pastry by pushing ½ an onion into the middle of the chicken filling before covering the pie with pastry. This helps prevent the pastry from sagging in the middle.

Make the pastry the day before and refrigerate. It improves with chilling. The filling is also better cooked the day before.

By: Ina Paarman

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