Chicken Pie


Makes 6 servings

Chicken Pie
  • 1 large (7 lb) chicken
  • 2 onions, some celery, carrots, parsley, bouquet garni, bay leaf, salt, pepper
  • 6 hardcooked eggs, sliced
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 recipe Puff Pastry
  • about 1 lb sliced luncheon ham
  • 1 recipe Forcemeat
  • 1 cup (approximately) milk

Special equipment

large casserole (at least 5 quarts)


The day before, boil the chicken with the assorted vegetables and herbs for 2½ hours. Cool. Remove the chicken and skin, debone, and cut the meat into about ¾-1 inch pieces. Save 3 cups of defatted stock.

To the reserved stock, add the diced onions, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. Put about half of the chicken pieces into the bottom of your casserole, and ladel some of the onion and stock on top. Then layer with sliced ham, forcemeat, sliced eggs, then another layer of chicken and so on, continuing until all the ingredients are used up. Cover with a puff pastry, pour milk through the steamhole you’ve made in the center until the pie is nearly full. Bake for an hour in a 400° oven.


This Victorian recipe is literally right out of Mrs. Beeton:

929. Ingredients. —2 small fowls or 1 large one, white pepper and salt to taste, ½ teaspoonful of grated nutmeg, ½ teaspoonful of pounded mace, forcemeat No. 417, a few slices of ham, 3 hard-boiled eggs, ½ pint of water, puff crust.

Mode.—Skin and cut up the fowls into joints, and put the neck, leg, and backbones in a stewpan, with a little water, an onion, a bunch of savory herbs, and a blade of mace ; let these stew for about an hour, and, when done, strain off the liquor : this is for the gravy. Put a layer of fowl at the bottom of a pie-dish, then a layer of ham, then one of forcemeat and hard-boiled eggs cut in rings; between the layers put a seasoning of pounded mace, nutmeg, pepper, and salt. Proceed in this manner until the dish is full, and pour in about ½ pint of water ; border the edge of the dish with puff crust, put on the cover, ornament the top, and glaze it by brushing over it the yolk of an egg. Bake for 1¼ to 1½ hour, should the pie be very large, and, when done, pour in, at the top, the gravy made from the bones. If to be eaten cold, and wished particularly nice, the joints of the fowl should be boned, and placed in the dish with alternate layers of forcemeat ; sausage-meat may also be substituted for the forcemeat, and is now very much used. When the chickens are boned, and mixed well with sausage meat, the pie will take about 2 hours to bake. It should be covered with a piece of paper when about half-done, to prevent the paste from being dried up or scorched.

Time.—For a pie with unboned meat, 1¼ to 1½ hour ; with boned meat and sausage or forcemeat, 1½ to 2 hours.

Average cost, with 2 fowls, 6s. 6d.

Sufficient for 6 or 7 persons.

Seasonable at any time.


The dish is heavy, much more filling than it appears to both the cook and the diner, and is not suited to summertime consumption.