Harry Potter Series · Rowling

Mrs Weasley’s Chicken & Ham Pie

Author: Rowling, J.K.
Book: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Difficulty rating: Little Women
Deliciousness rating: Exceeds Expectations (with salt added)

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By seven o’clock, the two tables were groaning under dishes and dishes of Mrs Weasley’s excellent cooking, and the nine Weasleys, Harry and Hermione were settling themselves down to eat beneath a clear, deep-blue sky. To somebody who had been living on meals of increasingly stale cake all summer, this was paradise, and at first, Harry listened rather than talked, as he helped himself to chicken-and-ham pie, boiled potatoes and salad. (Goblet UK 70, US 60)

Ron was there … and so was Mrs Weasley, who could cook better than anyone he knew …. (Half-Blood UK 76, US 76)

CHICKEN AND HAM PIE
Adapted from BBC Good Food’s recipe

Ingredients for 2 ginormous pies:

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  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed (ours were ENORMOUS)
  • 2 containers of mirepoux from Trader Joe’s
  • 7 smallish russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1700ml hot chicken stock
  • 100g KerryGold butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 100g plain flour
  • 600ml milk
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3/4 lb of sliced ham, cut into postage-stamp squares
  • 1 pack puff pastry or Trader Joe’s pie crust (but we recommend the former)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt


Directions:

1. Put the chicken in a large pan with the carrots, potatoes, celery, half the thyme, and seasoning. Add stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook gently for 15 minutes.

2. Set a colander over a large bowl, pour in the pan contents and remove thyme. Reserve 1200ml stock (rest can be frozen).

3. Rinse the pan and return to heat. Melt the butter. Cook the onions until soft, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in the flour, then the reserved stock a little at a time, to make a smooth thick sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

5. Add the milk and simmer for 2 minutes. Take off the heat, and stir in the rest of the thyme and parsley. Season with a good deal of salt and pepper to taste.

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6. Mix together the chicken, vegetables, and ham in two deep 2.2litre/4 pint ovenproof dishes, preferably with a rim or lip. (Even with 2 dishes of this size, we had another dish’s worth left over.) Pour in the sauce and leave to cool slightly.

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7. Preheat the oven to 200C/395F.

8. Roll out the pastry to about 5 cm/2 inches larger than the top of the dish.

9. Lift the pastry up and brush the bottom with egg. (<- We didn’t do this part because we were in a hurry, but the egg might be a good barrier against sogginess.) Put the pastry lid on the pie, pressing the edges to seal. Brush the egg on top.

10. Mark the edge all round with a fork. Make 4 small slits in the centre.

11. Bake for 25–30 minutes until crisp and golden.

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Did it measure up?
We didn’t like it much when we tried it at our party potluck, but it was actually pretty tasty when we ate it for lunch at work! (I think there was just so much food at the feast.) It needed a lot more salt, and the pie crust needed more toasting. (“Anemic,” Paul Hollywood would say.)

Don’t use Trader Joe’s crust for savory pies — it’s too sweet. The puff pastry worked better.

The chicken would be more flavorful if it were sautéed rather than boiled. Next time, we would use Smitten Kitchen’s chicken pot pie recipe and just add ham.

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireLondon: Bloomsbury, 2000.

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
New York: Scholastic Inc., 2000.

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