When I fly to England as a flight attendant, I lay over in Crawley, a small charming English town on the outskirts of London. In Crawley, there are great places to shop, beautiful parks, and lots of pubs and restaurants to sample the English food. Iím aware that English food is considered terrible, but I have eaten lots of wonderful food there, especially in some of the pubs.
One store that I always visit when Iím there is called Asda, which is similar to a Super Target or Super Walmart in the states. I love to roam the aisles looking for great ingredients that I canít get elsewhere.
The bakery in Asda sells, among other things, lots of pies: meat pies, pasties, chicken pies, veggie pies, and sweet pies. Most of the pies are small, each sized for an individual portion, but there are also large pies to serve an entire family for dinner. On the snack aisle there are several different brands of tiny sweet pies, mince being the most popular, and tiny jam tarts. Hogwarts served mince pies, and I suspect Harry, Hermoine, and Ron each ate a few. For some reason the mince pies in England taste much better than a slice of mince pie in the states; probably because an entire slice has too much of the rich, sweet filling, and a small tart like the English version has less filling and more crust. I always purchase several boxes of these yummy pies and keep them in my freezer at home.
Since the Brits love pie, it didnít surprise me when Molly served a Chicken and Ham Pie to her family at The Burrow in the Harry Potter Series. This is my version. If you prefer small pies, you can make them in individual dishes. I made mine large to save time. Also, if you donít want quite so much crust, you may omit the bottom crust and just put a puff pastry crust on top.
Shortcut English Chicken and Ham Pie
1 cup Basic Cream Soup Mix
1 3/4 cups water
1 crumbled bay leaf
1 tablespoon butter
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup diced ham
3 cups diced cooked chicken breast (or use a store-bought rotisserie chicken)
1 cup frozen peas
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 9" pie crust
4 ounces Puff pastry, (1 sheet)
1 egg, beaten
Mix the cream soup mix, water, and bay leaf in a saucepan; whisk over medium heat until boiling and thickened; set aside.
Put the butter, carrots, and onion in a microwaveable dish; cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for three minutes. Remove from the microwave; add the ham and chicken breast. Re-cover the pan and microwave for three more minutes. Stir in the frozen peas and add the mixture to the cream sauce. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the mixture into the 9" pie crust. Cut the puff pastry sheet into a 10" circle; cut a few teardrops or hearts with a canapŤ cutter decoratively out of the sheet. Brush the edge of the pie crust with the beaten egg, then put the puff paste on top, pressing down to seal. Brush egg over the top of the puff paste. Cut strips from the excess puff pastry to decorate the edge if desired.
Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch spills, and put it in a preheated 375į oven. Bake until the puff paste is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 35-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.