Delia Smith Chicken and Mushroom Pie Recipe

Delia Smith Chicken and Mushroom Pie
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 45 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 15 Mins

If you are looking for a comforting and delicious dish to warm up your winter days, you can’t go wrong with Delia Smith’s chicken and mushroom pie recipe. This classic British pie is made with tender chicken, creamy cheese sauce, and flaky pastry. It’s easy to make and perfect for serving with mashed potatoes and green beans.

In this blog post, I will show you how to make Delia Smith’s chicken and mushroom pie recipe step by step, with tips and tricks to ensure a successful result. You will also learn about the history and variations of this popular dish and some possible substitutions and additions you can make to suit your preferences.

What is Delia Smith Chicken and Mushroom Pie Recipe?

Delia Smith’s chicken and mushroom pie recipe is a delicious and comforting dish that consists of a filling of chicken and mushrooms in a creamy cheese sauce, covered with a flaky pastry crust. It is a classic British pie that is easy to make and perfect for serving with mashed potatoes and green beans. Delia Smith is a renowned British cook and author who created this recipe in 1978 and published it in her book, One is Fun.

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Why I Love this Recipe

Delia Smith’s Chicken and Mushroom Pie is a cherished recipe for several reasons:

  • Comforting and Hearty: This pie is the epitome of comfort food. Its warm, hearty qualities make it an ideal dish for chilly winter evenings.
  • Resourceful Cooking: It’s a fantastic way to repurpose leftover chicken and vegetables, or an opportunity to use fresh ingredients for an even richer flavor.
  • Balanced Flavors: The pie strikes a perfect balance between the richness of the filling and the light, flaky texture of the pastry.
  • Customizable: This recipe welcomes customization. Feel free to experiment with various cheeses, vegetables, herbs, and liquids to tailor the sauce and filling to your taste.
  • Convenience: The pie can easily be made in advance and frozen, ensuring a quick and delicious meal option for busy days. Leftovers reheat beautifully, maintaining their flavor and texture.

How to Make Delia Smith’s Chicken and Mushroom Pie Recipe

To make Delia Smith’s chicken and mushroom pie recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
  • 2 medium leeks
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 10 fl oz (275 ml) dry cider
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 2 cups (250 g) plain flour
  • 9 tbsp (125 g) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp (90 ml) cold water
  • 1 tbsp fine semolina (optional)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 oz (50 g) Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 oz (50 g) Gruyere cheese, grated
  • A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Equipment

You will also need the following equipment:

  • A medium saucepan
  • A large frying pan
  • A food processor
  • A rolling pin
  • A 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish
  • A baking sheet
  • A pastry brush

 

Instructions to Make Delia Smith Chicken and Mushroom Pie

Here are the steps to make Delia Smith’s chicken and mushroom pie recipe:

Step 1: Make the Pastry

  • Place the flour, salt, and butter in the bowl of your food processor. Blend until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  • Add the cold water and pulse until the dough starts to come together. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour, then add the water gradually and knead the dough lightly until smooth).
  • Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a ball. Wrap it with plastic wrap and flatten it slightly. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2: Make the Filling

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the chicken breasts on the prepared baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cooked through and golden. Let them cool slightly, then remove the skin and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.
  • Cut off the tough green ends of the leeks, then split them lengthwise and rinse them under cold water to remove any dirt. Slice them thinly crosswise.
  • Pour the cider into a medium saucepan and add the carrots, bay leaf, thyme, and some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the leeks and chicken to the saucepan and simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes.
  • Drain the chicken and vegetables, reserving the liquid. Discard the bay leaf and thyme.
  • In a large frying pan, melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.
  • Gradually whisk in the milk, cornstarch, curry powder, and cayenne pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until thick and smooth.
  • Stir in the cheeses and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir the chicken and vegetables into the cheese sauce and mix well.

Step 3: Assemble and Bake the Pie

  • Grease a 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish and sprinkle some semolina over the bottom and sides (this will help prevent the pastry from sticking and sogging).
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out two-thirds of the pastry into a thin circle, about 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. Carefully lift the pastry and place it over the pie dish, pressing it gently into the corners and leaving some overhang.
  • Spoon the filling into the pastry case and spread it evenly.
  • Roll out the remaining pastry into a thin circle, about 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. Cut out a small hole in the center to allow steam to escape.
  • Brush the edges of the pastry case with some beaten egg, then place the pastry lid over the filling and press the edges together to seal. Trim off any excess pastry and crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork.
  • Cut out some leaf shapes from the pastry scraps and arrange them on top of the pie. Brush the entire surface of the pie with more beaten egg and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  • Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and crisp.
  • Let the pie rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Chicken and Mushroom Pie Recipe Delia Smith

What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Chicken and Mushroom Pie?

While Delia Smith’s Chicken and Mushroom Pie is a fulfilling meal by itself, pairing it with the right side dishes can enhance the dining experience:

  • Mashed Potatoes: A side of creamy mashed potatoes complements the pie’s rich flavors. Infuse the potatoes with ingredients like butter, cream, or cheese, and a hint of garlic or herbs for a burst of flavor.
  • Crispy Green Beans: Add a pop of color and texture with green beans. Whether steamed, boiled, sautéed, or roasted, enhance them with a touch of butter, seasoning, and a squeeze of lemon or a sprinkle of almonds.
  • Homemade Gravy: A smooth, savory gravy can amplify the pie’s richness. Craft your own using chicken stock, flour, and butter, seasoned with herbs for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Fresh Salad: A light, refreshing salad brings a contrast to the richness of the pie. Mix it up with greens like lettuce, spinach, or arugula, and add in tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and onions. Top it off with a dressing of your choice – vinegar, oil, lemon, honey, mustard, or yogurt – for a delightful freshness.

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Chicken and Mushroom Pie

Achieve the best results in your Delia Smith Chicken and Mushroom Pie with these expert tips:

  • Chilled Ingredients for Pastry: Use cold butter and water for your pastry dough, and chill it before rolling. This technique ensures a flaky, crisp texture in your pastry.
  • Semolina for Non-Stickiness: Before lining your pie dish, sprinkle a bit of semolina on the bottom and sides. This not only prevents the pastry from sticking but also absorbs any excess moisture, avoiding a soggy base.
  • Steam Escape Hole: Carve a small hole in the center of your pastry lid. This simple step allows steam to escape, preventing the pastry from becoming puffed and potentially cracking.
  • Egg Wash and Cheese for a Golden Crust: Brush your pastry with beaten egg and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese before baking. This gives the crust a beautifully golden and subtly cheesy finish.
  • Rest Time Post-Baking: Allow the pie to rest for 10 minutes after baking. This resting period lets the filling set and the flavors to fully develop and meld together.

Creative Variations of Delia Smith Chicken and Mushroom Pie

Experiment with these variations to add a twist to the traditional Delia Smith Chicken and Mushroom Pie:

  • Turkey and Mushroom Pie: Swap chicken with leftover turkey, adding cranberries or chestnuts for a festive flavor.
  • Chicken and Ham Pie: Enhance the filling with diced ham or bacon. Swap cider with white wine for a deeper, nuanced liquid base.
  • Chicken and Vegetable Pie: Tailor the pie with a range of vegetables like mushrooms, celery, peas, or corn. Incorporate cream cheese in the sauce for added creaminess.
  • Chicken and Leek Pie: Focus on leeks as the primary vegetable, eliminating carrots and mushrooms. Mustard or tarragon in the sauce can introduce an exciting flavor profile.
  • Chicken and Cheese Pie: Elevate the cheesy aspect by using additional cheese in the sauce. Consider blue cheese or feta in the filling for a tangy twist.

Delia Smith Chicken and Mushroom Pie

How do I store Delia Smith Chicken and Mushroom Pie Leftovers?

If you have any leftovers of Delia Smith chicken and mushroom pie, you can store them in the refrigerator or freezer for later.

Here is how to do it:

Refrigerator

  • Let the pie cool completely at room temperature.
  • Cut the pie into portions and place them in airtight containers or wrap them with plastic wrap or foil.
  • Refrigerate the pie for up to 3 days.

Freezer

  • Let the pie cool completely at room temperature.
  • Cut the pie into portions and place them in freezer-safe containers or wrap them with plastic wrap and foil.
  • Label the containers or wraps with the date and contents.
  • Freeze the pie for up to 3 months.

How do I reheat Delia Smith Chicken and Mushroom Pie Leftovers?

If you want to reheat Delia Smith chicken and mushroom pie leftovers, you can do it in the oven or the microwave.

Here is how to do it:

Oven

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the pie portions on the prepared baking sheet and cover them loosely with foil.
  • Bake the pie for 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through and crisp.
  • Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes, or until golden.

Microwave

  • Place the pie portions on a microwave-safe plate and cover them loosely with a damp paper towel.
  • Microwave the pie for 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through and soft.
  • Let the pie rest for 1 minute before serving.

Nutrition value per serving (based on 6 servings):

  • Calories: 982 kcal
  • Fat: 63 g
  • Carbohydrates: 64 g
  • Protein: 38 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Sodium: 1010 mg
  • Cholesterol: 223 mg

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Final Words

Delia Smith’s chicken and mushroom pie recipe is a delicious and comforting dish that will make you feel cozy and satisfied. It is easy to make and can be adapted to your preferences and ingredients. It is perfect for a family dinner or a special occasion, and it will impress your guests with its flavor and appearance. Try it today and enjoy a slice of British tradition!

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