1kg (2lb) chicken 1.25 litres (2pints) chicken stock 1 onion, quartered 1 celery stalk, thickly sliced pared zest and juice of 1 lemon 2 carrots 2 waxy potatoes 45g (11/2oz) butter 45g (11/2oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting salt and black pepper 125g (4oz) frozen peas 500g (1lb) ready-made short crust pastry beaten egg yolk for glazing 2litre (31/2pint) pie dish.
The chicken, vegetables, and sauce need to be cold before covering with pastry or the pastry will become soggy. This is a good dish to make ahead up to the end of step 5, then all you have to do is assemble the pie and bake it for half an hour. You can make the filling up to 24 hours ahead and keep it covered in the refrigerator.
1- Put the chicken, stock, onion, celery, and lemon zest into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
2- Add the carrots and potatoes, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked and the chicken is just tender. Remove the vegetables from the liquid and set aside. Leave the chicken to cool in the liquid.
3- Remove the meat from the chicken, and cut into bite-sized pieces, discarding the skin and bones. Dice the vegetables.
4- Skim the fat from the cooking liquid, then bring 600ml (1pint) to a boil. Melt the butter in another pan, add the flour, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minutes. Stir in the hot stock, whisking until it comes to a boil and thickens. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
5- Stir the chicken, diced vegetables, and peas into the sauce, turn into the pie dish, then leave to cool.
6- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry, then cut out the lid, fill the pie, and cover.
7- Bake in a preheated oven at 190C (375F, Gas 5) for 30 minutes or until the top is crisp and golden brown. Serve hot.