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Serves: 6

750g Potatoes

130g Unsalted Butter

3 Shallots, finely chopped

2tbsp Tarragon Leaves

2tbsp Chopped Chives

4 Large Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts cut into thin strips

800g Puff Pastry

Flour for dusting

2 Egg Yolks

240ml Double Cream

Sea Salt and Black Pepper

This is my famous chicken and potato pie, which I’ve made countless times. It’s my family’s favourite dish and if I had to choose a last meal this would probably be it. The trick is to make sure the potato is very well seasoned, otherwise it can be bland. It’s a rustic dish, to be placed in the centre of the table so that everyone can help themselves. I once cooked 36 of these pies for a friend’s wedding, one on each table.

  1. Put the potatoes and half the butter into a pan and heat gently, turning from time to time, until they are just tender but not brown. Transfer them to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, soften the shallots in the remaining butter. Add the herbs and chicken, turning the mixture over a steady heat for a few minutes until the meat is partially cooked. Add to the bowl of potatoes, mix carefully and season well with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
  3. Place half the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and roll it into a circle about 30cm wide. Transfer it to a lightly buttered baking sheet. Brush the perimeter of the pastry with beaten egg yolk, then pile the chicken mixture in the middle. Roll the remaining pastry into a circle about 36cm wide and place it over the filling, sealing and crimping the edges. Cut a circle about 10cm wide in the top, but leave it in place: this will act as a lid. Brush the whole surface with the remaining egg yolk. Bake in an oven preheated to 180°C / Gas Mark 4 for about 50 minutes, checking that it’s not browning too much, in which case lower the heat slightly.
  4. When the pie is ready, heat the cream until boiling then season with salt and pepper. Carefully remove the pastry lid from the pie and pour in the cream, lifting the mixture gently to allow it to circulate. Put the lid back on and return the pie to the oven for 10 minutes.

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