Great British Bake Off Star, Rowan Williams, has used Rhug Organic Chicken to make these fantastic pies. Here he kindly shares the recipe and his cooking method…
Lady Owen’s Chicken Pie
Based on a recipe found in Lady Owen’s own cookbook, this recipe is typical of dishes served in Welsh country houses 300 years ago. The flavour combinations are unusual and reflect the influence of middle-eastern cuisine on traditional British cookery, particularly in the spicing, the meat-fruit combination and the balance of savoury and sweet elements. Boiling the chicken and making your pastry the day before you want to serve makes this an easy and stress free process.
1 Rhug Estate organic chicken (available to order online and have delivered or from the Butcher’s Counter in our farm shop)
A handful of currants (raisins will do)
A glass of white wine
A glass of whipping cream
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Method Day 1
Put your chicken in a deep saucepan (just large enough to hold it but with plenty of headroom) and pour about a litre of boiling water from your kettle over it. Add a good teaspoon of salt, cover the pan and boil the chicken for 45 to 50 minutes until thoroughly cooked.
Allow to cool. Remove the chicken from the pan, cover and rest in the fridge overnight. Strain the boiling liquid and reserve in the fridge.
Make a 250g mixing of shortcrust pastry (or use ready-roll if you wish) and refrigerate.
Method Day 2
Remove the skin from the chicken.
Strip the meat from the bones and cut it into bite sized chunks.
In a large bowl sprinkle the ground spices, sugar and a large pinch of salt over the meat and mix thoroughly with your hand to distribute evenly. Mix in the dried fruit.
Put the meat mixture into your pie dish/dishes and make a lid with your shortcrust pastry. Decorate with cut pastry. Make a hole large enough to pour in liquid later. Glaze with beaten egg. Bake for half an hour until the pastry is golden.
Meanwhile make your ‘caudle’. This is the ‘sauce’ which you will pour into your pie/pies.
Take about 300 ml of the chicken stock (it will be jellied by now) and heat it in a saucepan with a glass of white wine and a similar quantity of whipping cream. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 5 mins. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Beat 2 eggs together with what is left of the one you used for glazing the pastry and whisk into the mixture. Return to a gentle heat and continue to whisk as it thickens. Do not boil.
When the pie is baked use a funnel or jug to pour the ‘caudle’ into it until it will take no more.