This pie uses a whole chicken, and cooking it produces a fine broth that forms the sauce. There will be leftover that you can freeze for future soups.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 (1.8kg) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 6 thyme sprigs
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 100 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 100 gm (2/3 cup) plain flour
- 1/4 cup each finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and tarragon
- 1 tbsp finely chopped lovage or celery leaves
- For brushing: eggwash
- To serve: Dijon mustard
- 690 gm plain flour
- 90 gm polenta
- 250 gm butter, finely chopped
- 1Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat, add chicken and brown all over (4-5 minutes). Add thyme, bay leaves and 2 litres cold water, bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until chicken is tender (40-45 minutes). Drain liquid into a bowl and reserve 500ml (freeze remainder for another use.). Cool chicken, then coarsely shred flesh (discard skin, bones and sinew) and refrigerate until required.
- 2Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and carrot, sauté until tender (8-10 minutes), then add flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add reserved cooking liquid a little at
a time, whisking to combine, then stir continuously until mixture boils and thickens (3-4 minutes). Add shredded chicken, stir to combine, then add herbs, stir and season to taste. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until required.
- 3For cornmeal pastry, combine flour and polenta in a bowl, and rub in butter until just combined with streaks of butter still visible. Make a well in the centre, add 350ml cold water and mix to incorporate, then knead until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (at least 1 hour).
- 4Preheat oven to 180C. Roll out two-thirds of pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a 5mm-thick round and line a 20cm-diameter cake tin, allowing edges to overhang a little. Roll out remaining dough to a 5mm-thick round large enough to fit on top of cake tin and set aside.
- 5Spoon filling into lined cake tin, then fold edges inward and place pastry lid on top, pressing to seal. Cut a small cross in the middle of the pie, brush top with eggwash and bake until golden brown (1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes). Cool slightly before turning out onto a serving plate and serve warm or at room temperature with Dijon mustard on the side.
Drink Suggestion: Mâcon chardonnay. Drink suggestion by Max Allen