Chicken and Broccoli Pie has a creamy sauce and a puff pastry crust. It’s ideal for an everyday supper or a special meal. It can be made ahead, or in stages, if you’re short of time on the night.
Well, if you don’t like broccoli, look away now. This pie is stuffed full of it, but that suits me because I love it! To make it easier (and quicker) to prepare, the recipe uses frozen broccoli, which comes in handy 750g bags – just the right size.
Cook the chicken first
The long cook time is split into two parts. The chicken is poached for an hour and cooled before it goes into the pie. This can be done a day or two beforehand, or you can freeze the chicken once it’s cooked – either on or off the bone. If you’ve got a busy time entertaining coming up – like at Christmas – keep a cooked chicken in the freezer.
What’s in the sauce?
I know it sounds odd, but this sauce does work. You can buy the mayonnaise or make your own. Either works well.
A small tin is enough – about 170g these days. Don’t use Condensed Milk, as it has a lot of sugar added – and that’s not what you want here. If you’ve bought the wrong one, use the Condensed Milk in sweet recipes such as Millionaire’s Shortbread or Easy Raspberry Lemon Mousse.
Lemon or lime juice?
If you’ve got lemons and can be bothered, then squeeze one. If not, and I don’t for most savoury recipes, use juice out of a bottle. I have to say that I don’t buy bottled lemon juice as if I really need it I will use a lemon. But squeezy lime juice is really good and I use it a lot – whenever a savoury recipe calls for lemon juice I just get my little green bottle out of the fridge. The one I use comes from Waitrose (see picture) but I’m sure you can get it in other supermarkets.
And the pastry?
It’s that good old standby – ready-rolled puff pastry. I do prefer it with butter for the taste and, slightly, because I know what’s in butter. Ready-rolled because rolling out is what I hate about pastry. The only thing to check is whether it’s ready-rolled round or rectangular. I have bought the wrong one before realising round rolled pastry was a thing, and had to be a bit creative to get it to fit.
If you like this…
…Why don’t you try:
Chicken and Broccoli Pie
- 1.5 kg whole chicken
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion
- 1 bouquet garni
- 6 peppercorns
- 1 pack of ready-rolled puff pastry e.g. Jus Rol Butter Puff Pastry
- 1 egg optional
To Cook the Chicken:
- Put the chicken in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add the carrot, onion, bouquet garni, salt and peppercorns
- Bring to the boil, cover and leave to simmer for 1 hour
- Leave to cool in the stockDon't discard the stock.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/ 200°C fan/ gas mark 7/ 425°F
- Grate the cheese
- If using, beat the egg with a fork
- Butter the pie dish
- Put the broccoli in a saucepan of boiling water and bring back to the boil. Drain. Arrange the drained broccoli in the pie dish
- When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove from the stock and strip the meat from the bones, discarding the skin
- Keep 600ml of stock for later – heating it before usingYou can reduce the remaining stock and freeze it, or boil it up with the chicken bones for a more concentrated stock
- Spread the chicken over the broccoli
For the sauce and to assemble the pie:
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the curry powder/garam masala and flour and cook gently for 1-2 minutes
- Slowly add the hot stock and bring the sauce to the boilHeating the stock first makes it quicker and easier to incorporate into the sauce
- Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese. When the cheese has melted stir in the evaporated milk, lemon juice, and mayonnaise
- Taste to check the seasoning, and add salt and pepper if needed
- Pour the sauce over the chicken
- Unroll the pastry and drape over the pie. Trim the pastry as needed. Use any excess for decoration
- Brush the beaten egg over the pastry to give a golden finishUse the excess egg in scrambled egg or cheese sauce (or give it to the dog)
- Cook for 20 minutes then turn the oven down to Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/ gas mark 6/ 400°F for a further 10-20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown
- Serve immediately.
EVERYDAY COOKS TIPS:Prepare ahead:
- Cook the chicken up to two days before, optionally take the meat off the bone, and refrigerate until needed OR
- Freeze the cooked chicken for up to a month before using.
- Lemon juice – either freshly squeezed or bottled is fine
- Evaporated Milk – don’t confuse with Condensed Milk which is very sweet and will not work here
- Mayonnaise – bought or home-made mayonnaise both work.