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Chicken and pancetta pies with red grape mostarda

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Chicken and pancetta pies with red grape mostarda

By Alice Storey & Emma Knowles
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 45 mins cooking plus resting, cooling
  • Serves 8
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Chicken and pancetta pies with red grape mostarda
In this recipe we have a used a traditional method of shaping the pies from upturned jam jars. Make sure you carefully smooth the pastry to remove all the little pleats. The hot water pastry is adapted from a Dan Lepard recipe. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 800 gm skinless chicken breast, finely diced
  • 500 gm minced pork
  • 250 gm mild pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (loosely packed)
  • ¼ cup each thyme and sage, finely chopped (firmly packed)
  • Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
  • For brushing: eggwash
Red grape mostarda
  • 1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 110 gm caster sugar (½ cup)
  • 125 ml sherry vinegar (½ cup)
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 650 gm seedless red grapes
Hot water pastry
  • 720 gm plain flour
  • 120 gm butter
  • 150 gm lard
Parsley jelly
  • 250 ml chicken stock (1 cup)
  • 1 titanium-strength gelatine leaf, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


  • 1
    For red grape mostarda, combine all ingredients except grapes in a saucepan over medium heat. Add grapes, simmer until starting to soften (5-7 minutes), remove from heat. Transfer to a sterile container. Red grape mostarda will keep refrigerated for 1 week.
  • 2
    Combine chicken, pork, pancetta, onion, garlic, herbs and lemon rind in a large bowl. Season to taste and refrigerate until required.
  • 3
    For hot water pastry, place flour in a large bowl, add butter and rub in with fingertips until fine crumbs form. Meanwhile, heat lard in a saucepan over low heat to 40C (do not overheat). Remove from heat, add 200ml boiling water (be careful as hot fat may spit) and a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Add to flour mixture and mix with a knife to combine. When cool enough to handle, work with fingertips until smooth, form into a disc, cover and rest (15-20 minutes). Roll on a lightly floured surface to a 7mm-thick rectangle. Fold short ends together to meet in the centre then fold in half to form a book fold. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest (20-30 minutes). Repeat rolling and folding twice. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest (30 minutes). Set aside one-quarter of the pastry. Roll remainder to 7mm thick, cut eight 19cm-diameter rounds using a cutter and place over floured upturned jars (reserve and re-roll scraps). Carefully pleat pastry around jars and smooth with fingers until about 6cm deep. Refrigerate until pastry sets (5-7 minutes), then carefully remove jars.
  • 4
    Divide chicken mixture among pastry cases, then brush rims with water. Roll remaining pastry to 5mm thick, cut eight 7cm-diameter rounds using a cutter, then cut a 5mm-diameter hole in the centre of each round, and cover tops of pies, pressing edges to seal. Transfer to an oven tray lined with baking paper, refrigerate until chilled (1 hour).
  • 5
    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200C. Brush pies with eggwash and bake until golden and cooked through (35-40 minutes). Cool to room temperature on a wire rack (1½-2 hours).
  • 6
    Meanwhile, for parsley jelly, heat stock in a saucepan over low heat to just below simmering. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to stock and stir to dissolve. Cool slightly, add parsley and season to taste, then cool over ice until mixture begins to set (30 minutes). Pour jelly slowly through a funnel into holes of pies (there may be a little left over) and refrigerate until set (6-8 hours or overnight). Serve pies at room temperature with red grape mostarda.


Drink Suggestion: Young light red, such as dolcetto. Drink suggestion by Max Allen