Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Chicken and tarragon pie

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 4
Serve with creamy mashed potato for comfort food perfection.


  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and rub the butter and lard into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.

  2. Add the vinegar and enough cold water to bring the mixture together into a smooth dough.

  3. Divide the dough into two pieces, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, for the filling heat 25g/1oz of the butter in a frying pan and cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes, then add the leeks and continue to cook for a further 3-4 minutes, or until just soft. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, then season and set aside.

  5. Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and whisk to a smooth paste. Cook for a minute or two then remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk. Return the sauce to the heat and cook over a gentle heat until smooth and thick (do not boil).

  6. Stir in the chicken mixture, ham and tarragon.

  7. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.

  8. Roll one of the pieces of pastry thinly and use it to line a 25cm/10in pie plate. Trim the edges. Spoon in the chicken mixture and brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg.

  9. Roll the second piece of pastry out thinly and cover the pie. Seal and crimp the edges. Cut a hole in the top of the pie and brush the top with the beaten egg.

  10. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.


For the shortcrust pastry

  • 500g/1lb plain flour
  • 125g/4oz unsalted butter
  • 125g/4oz lard
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the filling

  • 75g/3oz unsalted butter
  • 50g/2oz plain flour
  • 350ml/12fl oz whole milk, warmed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 x 150g/5oz chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 125g/4oz good-quality ham, cut into strips
  • 2 large leeks
  • 5 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

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Chicken and tarragon pie

Fruit and vegetables

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Dairy, eggs and chilled

Meat, fish and poultry

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