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Chicken and Ham Pie

Tasty pie of chicken, ham, mushrooms and onions, in a well flavored sauce under a light pastry crust (Serves 4-6, hot or cold)

Ingredients:

1 chicken weighing 3 pounds
4 onions
2 carrots
3 stalks celery
Several parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
6 peppercorns
2½ oz butter
3 oz mushrooms
1 oz flour
½-¾ pint strong chicken stock
2 level tablespoons mixed chopped parsley, thyme, tarragon
A pinch of mace
6 medium thick slices ham
1 package frozen puff pastry
1 egg

Pre-heat oven to 450°F

Recipe:

1. Cut meat off chicken bones in large chunks. Put carcass and giblets in pan with 2 onions, carrots, celery, herbs and peppercorns. Cover with water and cook until well flavored; strain and add salt.

2. Melt 1 oz butter, cook 2 thickly sliced onions for 3-4 minutes. Then add mushrooms; cook for 1 minute, remove and keep warm. Heat another 1 oz butter and fry chicken pieces in pan for 4-5 minutes to seal meat. Sprinkle in flour, then pour on stock and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for 1 minute. Then add onions and mushrooms. Sprinkle in herbs and seasoning.

3. Chop ham and make a layer at bottom of pie dish. Spoon in half chicken mixture, another layer of ham, remaining chicken mixture, and top with ham. Allow to cool.

4. Roll out pastry, place thin strip around moistened edge of pie dish. Brush this strip with water and place the large piece of pastry on top. Crimp edges together; then cut off excess with sharp knife. Make 3-4 holes to allow steam to escape, decorate with pastry leaves and flowers. Brush pastry with beaten egg.

5. Bake in hot oven for 25 minutes to cook pastry. Cover pastry with damp greaseproof paper or foil. Reduce heat to 375°F or Mark 5 for another 20 minutes to cook chicken.

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