Mary Berry Chicken and Ham Pie Recipe

Mary Berry Chicken and Ham Pie
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 1 Hr Cook Time: 1 Hr 30 Mins Total Time: 2 Hr 30 Mins

Mary Berry chicken and ham pie, a delightful staple in British cuisine, epitomizes comfort food at its best. Known for her role on “The Great British Bake Off,” Mary Berry brings decades of culinary expertise to this dish. Combining tender chicken and ham in a white sauce with leeks and mushrooms, all nestled under a flaky puff pastry, this pie is not only delicious but also versatile and adaptable to various ingredients and preferences.

In this article, I will show you how to make Mary Berry’s chicken and ham pie recipe, with a complete step-by-step guide. I will also share some tips and tricks to make the best pie possible.

What is Mary Berry Chicken and Ham Pie Recipe?

Mary Berry Chicken and Ham Pie is a traditional British dish that consists of a creamy and savory filling of chicken, ham, leeks, and mushrooms, topped with a flaky puff pastry crust. The pie is easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time and baked when needed. It is also versatile and can be adapted to different tastes and ingredients.

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Why You Love this Recipe

This recipe is one of my favorites because:

  • Delicious and Comforting: The rich, creamy filling paired with a golden crust offers a delightful eating experience.
  • Simple and Approachable: The recipe is easy to follow, making it accessible even for novice bakers.
  • Economical: It’s an excellent way to utilize leftover chicken and ham, or you can start fresh if preferred.
  • Hearty and Satisfying: Perfect for family meals, it comfortably serves six and can be adjusted for more.
  • Adaptable: From adding various vegetables to exploring a vegetarian option, this pie can be customized to your liking.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Chicken and Ham Pie

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 200g cooked ham, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 150ml double cream
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced
  • 500g ready-made puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten

Useful Equipment

  • A large frying pan
  • A medium saucepan
  • A pie dish (about 23cm in diameter and 4cm deep)
  • A rolling pin
  • A pastry brush
  • A sharp knife
  • A fork
  • A baking sheet

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Chicken and Ham Pie

Step 1: Cook the onion and garlic

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden.
  • Transfer the onion mixture to a plate and set aside.

Step 2: Cook the chicken and ham

  • In the same frying pan, cook the chicken pieces for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through.
  • Transfer the chicken pieces to the plate with the onion mixture and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, toss the ham pieces with some salt and pepper, to season them.
  • Add the ham pieces to the same frying pan and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden.
  • Transfer the ham pieces to the plate with the chicken and onion mixture and set aside.

Step 3: Make the sauce

  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low-medium heat.
  • Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, to make a roux.
  • Gradually whisk in the chicken stock, cream, and mustard, and bring the sauce to a boil.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened and smooth.

Step 4: Cook the leeks and mushrooms

  • In the same frying pan, cook the leeks and mushrooms for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Step 5: Assemble the pie

  • Spoon the chicken and ham mixture into the pie dish, spreading it evenly.
  • Pour over the sauce, covering the chicken and ham completely.
  • Scatter the leek and mushroom mixture on top of the sauce, spreading it evenly.

Step 6: Prepare the pastry

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of about 3mm and a size slightly larger than the pie dish.
  • Cut a small hole in the center of the pastry to allow steam to escape.
  • Brush the edge of the pie dish with some of the beaten egg.
  • Carefully place the pastry over the filling, pressing it down around the edge to seal.
  • Trim off any excess pastry and crimp the edge with a fork.
  • Brush the top of the pastry with the remaining beaten egg.
  • Cut out some shapes from the leftover pastry, if desired, and stick them on top of the pie with some beaten egg.

Step 7: Bake the pie

  • Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is risen and golden.
  • Let the pie rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy your delicious chicken and ham pie!
Mary Berry Chicken and Ham Pie
Mary Berry Chicken and Ham Pie

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Chicken and Ham Pie?

When serving Mary Berry’s Chicken and Ham Pie, complement it with side dishes that enhance the meal’s flavors and textures:

  • Refreshing Green Salad: A mix of crisp lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes, dressed with your favorite vinaigrette, adds a fresh contrast to the pie.
  • Colorful Vegetables: Roasted or steamed vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts not only add vibrant color but also provide nutritional balance.
  • Starchy Sides: Creamy mashed or boiled potatoes, fluffy rice, or couscous offer a delightful texture contrast and soak up the savory pie sauce.
  • Warm Bread or Rolls: Serve with butter or a spread to complement the meal and ensure not a drop of the delicious sauce goes to waste.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Chicken and Ham Pie

To achieve the perfect chicken and ham pie, consider these expert tips:

  • Puff Pastry Quality: Opt for high-quality, ready-made puff pastry for ease and a guaranteed flaky crust. Homemade pastry is an option for those seeking a baking challenge.
  • Venting the Pastry: Cut a small hole in the center of the pastry to release steam, preventing a soggy bottom. A pie funnel or ceramic knob can also be used for this purpose.
  • Egg Wash: Brush the edges of the pie dish and the pastry top with beaten egg. This not only seals the pie but also provides a glossy, golden finish. Optionally, sprinkle sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or cheese on the pastry for added flavor and texture.
  • Decorative Touches: Use leftover pastry to create shapes like stars, hearts, or flowers, affixing them with a beaten egg. This adds a fun and personalized touch to the pie.
  • Baking Sheet Use: Bake the pie on a lined baking sheet to catch any overflow and facilitate easy handling.

Variations of Mary Berry Chicken and Ham Pie

Experiment with these variations to personalize the classic pie recipe:

  • Different Meats: Try turkey and bacon as alternatives to chicken and ham. Use leftovers or fresh cuts as preferred.
  • Pastry Varieties: Explore other pastry options like shortcrust, filo, or croissant for diverse textures and flavors. Gluten-free or vegan pastries are great for dietary needs.
  • Sauce Alternatives: Experiment with cheese, tomato, or curry sauces for unique flavors. Substitute double cream with options like sour cream, crème fraîche, or coconut cream for different sauce textures.
  • Cheese Options: Incorporate cheeses like cheddar, gruyere, or parmesan into the sauce or pastry. Blue cheese, goat cheese, or cream cheese offer distinct flavors.
  • Herbal Infusions: Enhance the sauce or filling with herbs such as thyme, sage, or parsley for aromatic depth. Rosemary, basil, or dill are also great alternatives.
  • Spice it Up: Add spices like nutmeg, paprika, or cumin for a flavor twist. Curry powder, turmeric, or cinnamon can also provide unique flavor profiles.
  • Vegetable Additions: Enrich the filling with vegetables like carrots, peas, or spinach for nutritional value and color. Corn, zucchini, or kale are also great choices.
  • Vegetarian Adaptation: For a vegetarian version, replace meat with Quorn or tofu, or explore other meat substitutes like seitan, tempeh, or jackfruit.

How do I store Mary Berry Chicken and Ham Pie Leftovers?

  • If you have any leftovers from your Mary Berry Chicken and Ham Pie, you can store them in the fridge or the freezer, and enjoy them later. Here is how to do it:

Fridge

  • Let the pie cool completely at room temperature, then cover it with some foil or plastic wrap, or transfer it to an airtight container.
  • Store the pie in the fridge for up to 3 days, or until the expiry date of the ingredients, whichever comes first.
  • To reheat the pie, see the next section.

Freezer

  • Let the pie cool completely at room temperature, then cut it into individual portions, if desired, or leave it whole, if you prefer.
  • Wrap each portion or the whole pie with some foil or plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer bag or an airtight container. Label and date the bag or container, and squeeze out as much air as possible.
  • Store the pie in the freezer for up to 3 months, or until the expiry date of the ingredients, whichever comes first.
  • To reheat the pie, see the next section.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Chicken and Ham Pie Leftovers?

  • If you want to reheat your Mary Berry Chicken and Ham Pie leftovers, you can do it in the oven or the microwave, depending on your preference and convenience. Here is how to do it:

Oven

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper, or use the same one you used to bake the pie.
  • If the pie is frozen, thaw it in the fridge overnight, or at room temperature for a few hours, until it is completely defrosted.
  • Place the pie or the portions on the prepared baking sheet, and cover them loosely with some foil, to prevent them from drying out or burning.
  • Bake the pie or the portions for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are hot and bubbly. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes, to crisp up the pastry, if desired.
  • Enjoy your reheated pie!

Microwave

  • If the pie is frozen, thaw it in the fridge overnight, or at room temperature for a few hours, until it is completely defrosted.
  • Place the pie or the portions on a microwave-safe plate, and cover them loosely with some paper towel, to prevent them from splattering or drying out.
  • Microwave the pie or the portions for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are hot and bubbly. Check and stir them halfway through, to ensure even heating.
  • Enjoy your reheated pie!

Nutrition value per serving (based on 6 servings):

  • Calories: 1353 kcal
  • Protein: 57 g
  • Carbohydrates: 84 g (of which 6 g sugars)
  • Fat: 86 g (of which 52 g saturates)
  • Fibre: 7 g
  • Salt: 2.8 g

FAQs

How can I make the pie more flavorful?

You can add some herbs, such as thyme, sage, or parsley, to the sauce or the filling. You can also use different types of cheese, such as cheddar, gruyere, or parmesan, to the sauce or the pastry, for a cheesy twist.

Can I Prepare Mary Berry’s Chicken and Ham Pie in Advance?

Yes, you can prepare this pie in advance. Assemble the pie but don’t bake it; instead, cover and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. If baking from cold, you may need to add extra time to ensure it’s cooked through. For freezing, either freeze unbaked or fully baked, and bake or reheat straight from the freezer, adjusting cooking time accordingly.

What are Suitable Substitutes for Double Cream in the Recipe?

If double cream is not available, a good substitute is a mixture of heavy cream and milk, or for a lighter version, just milk. For a dairy-free alternative, consider using coconut cream or a plant-based cream substitute. The key is to maintain the creamy consistency and rich flavor of the sauce.

Is It Possible to Make a Gluten-Free Version of the Pie?

Yes, a gluten-free version is possible. Substitute the plain flour in the sauce with a gluten-free alternative, and use gluten-free puff pastry for the crust. Ensure that all other ingredients, such as stock and mustard, are gluten-free as well.

How Can I Make This Pie Vegetarian?

For a vegetarian version, replace the chicken and ham with a mix of vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms, or use vegetarian substitutes like Quorn or tofu. Adjust the seasoning accordingly, and consider using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make Mary Berry’s chicken and ham pie recipe. This is a delicious and easy dish that will impress your family and friends. If you try this recipe, let me know how it turned out in the comments below. Happy baking!

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