The perfect pie for hot or cold festive feasting…
FOR THE PASTRY
- 100g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- Sea salt
FOR THE FILLING
- 4 boneless, skinless duck breasts
- 2 banana shallots
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Drizzle of rapeseed oil
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 egg whites
- 200ml double cream
- 100g hazelnuts, skinned
- 25g fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 egg yolk
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE SOUSED CHERRIES
- 300g cherries
- 75ml mirin
- 75ml rice vinegar
- 50g caster sugar
- Grease a 30 x 11cm springform or loose-bottomed loaf tin with butter, dust with flour and line the base. Place two long strips of folded-over foil in the tin lengthways, leaving the ends hanging over the edges to help lift out the pie later.
- Now make the pastry. Cut the butter and lard into cubes. Bring the butter, lard, 75ml of water and a pinch of salt to the boil, then stir in the flour all at once to form a dough. Set aside to cool in the fridge for 30 mins. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough until it is 5mm thick. Cut into four 50 x 12cm rectangles.
- Place 3 of the pastry rectangles in the tin and gently push down into the corners, making sure the ends hang over the edge. Put in the fridge to rest with the remaining pastry.
- Cut the duck breasts lengthways into 3 strips and season with salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick frying pan until very hot and fry the breast strips until golden brown, turning halfway. Remove and set aside.
- Dice the shallot and garlic. Heat the same frying pan with a splash of oil and then add the shallot, garlic and thyme leaves. Cook gently until softened, remove from the heat and let cool.
- Dice the chicken breast and place into a food processor with the egg white, season with salt and pepper, and blitz for about 1 min. Add the cooked shallots and blitz again, then slowly add the cream. When it is well incorporated, transfer to a mixing bowl. Heat a frying pan until hot, add the hazelnuts and toast them lightly, then remove and roughly chop. Roughly chop the parsley, then add both to the chicken mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Spread 1cm of the chicken mixture on the bottom of the tin, then place a duck breast piece on top. Repeat to make layers, pushing down gently to remove any air pockets, until the tin is filled.
- Place the last pastry rectangle on top and press the edges lightly to seal. Trim off any excess pastry and crimp the edges. Bake in the oven for 1 hour 15 mins. Check occasionally to ensure that the pastry is not browning too quickly – if it is, cover with foil.
- To make the soused cherries, halve the cherries, put in a pan with the mirin, rice vinegar and sugar, and bring to the boil. Cook until reduced by half, then set aside to cool. Let the pie cool for 15 mins before lifting out. Serve warm or cold, with the cherries.
Slow Cooking by James Martin, published by Quadrille Publishing Limited