|butter — cooled
|mature cheddar cheese — grated
|water — cold
|for the filling
|chicken breast fillets
|wine — white
|nutmeg — ground
|stock — chicken
For the pastry:
Sift the flour and a generous pinch of salt into a large bowl.
Add the butter and cheese (you can either pre-grate the cheese, or just crumble it in with your fingers). Rub the butter and cheese into the flour using your fingertips, until evenly dispersed and there are no more large visible chunks (no bigger than a R1 coin).
Gradually add the water, tablespoon by tablespoon, mixing continuously until the mixture just comes together as a dough. You might not need to use all of the water.
Press the dough together into a disc shape. Wrap it and leave it in the fridge to rest and cool for at least 30 minutes.
For the pie:
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Cut four chicken breasts into small cubes (don’t stress if they’re not all the exact same size but that is the aim). Dice the onion, carrot and celery and halve the mushrooms (or quarter them if they are very big).
Put a large pot with thick bottom on a medium heat. Melt a pat of butter and throw in the onions. Once they have become translucent, add carrots, celery, mushrooms and thyme. Saute until all the vegetables are soft and golden.
Add the chicken and cook until brown on all sides.
Deglaze the pan with white wine, stirring to scrape the bottom.Let the wine reduce by half. (Note: this step is optional. If you don’t want to use wine, just skip ahead to the next step.)
Stir in the flour, then add the mustard, nutmeg, paprika, crème fraiche and chicken stock. Give it all a good stir and bring it to the boil. Let it all simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Season to taste, then pour filling into an oven-safe baking dish and leave it in the fridge to cool down.
When you’re ready to assemble, take your pastry out of the fridge – half it – and roll it out onto a floured surface until it is just larger than your oven dish.
*Take the other half of the pastry and put it in the freezer to use it on another lucky day.
Cover the top of your pie with pastry, pressing the pastry gently down onto the filling, and crimping the edges. Don’t forget to make a little hole on top to allow steam to escape during the baking.
Brush a beaten egg over the top of the pastry.
Bake at 200C for 30-45 minutes (or more or less until it’s beautifully browned and golden on top).