Have I mentioned how much I adore Jamie Oliver? He’s perhaps my favorite chef of all time. I first started watching him decades ago when he was the “Naked Chef” and I feel like I’ve grown up with his recipes. I own every cookbook that he’s written and feel like his wife (coincidentally named, Jools) could play my Jules in a movie version of the Bakeshop Mysteries. What I especially love about his style is that his food is infused with depth and flavor, but it always tastes like home. If you’ve never tried a Jamie recipe, then this is the one for you! Don’t be intimidated by the length of the recipe. It’s really just a lot of chopping and some rolling. I guarantee these buttery, savory hand pies (pasties) will become a staple in your house! Original recipe here.
Chicken Hand Pies (Pasties)
For the dough
2 sticks butter
1 ¼ cups hot water
4 ½ cups flour, more for dusting
1 tsp salt
1 large free-range egg, beaten
1 handful medium ground cornmeal or polenta
For the filling
Red onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into ¾ inch dice
½ small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
6 sprigs fresh rosemary & thyme
1 ¼ cups organic chicken stock
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp flour (more for desired thickness)
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Bring your butter and water to boil in a large pan, then take off the heat. Stir the flour and 1 tablespoon of sea salt into the mixture slowly with a spatula, until you’ve got a dough. Tip it onto a floured surface and use your hands to shape it into a smooth ball. Put the ball of dough into a floured bowl, dust the top with flour, then cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes while you make the filling.
Meanwhile, get a large pan and fry your chopped onion in a lug of olive oil for 10 minutes or until softened. Add the diced chicken and fry for 5 minutes until brown, then add the rest of the chopped vegetables and herbs. Fry for another 5 minutes, then add 3 or 4 good gratings of nutmeg. Season well with salt and black pepper, then pour in the chicken stock and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the flour and simmer on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until most of the stock has cooked away and you’re left with nice thick gravy.
Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour, then divide your pastry dough in half and roll each half out until it’s slightly thinner than ¼ inch. Use a cereal bowl (about 6 inches in diameter) to cut 4 circles out of each half, so you end up with 8 circles. You may need to cut out 2 or 3 circles from each half first, then re-roll the remaining pastry to make the rest. Dust the circles with flour, and spoon your filling into the middle of each one. Brush the edges of the pastry with some of the beaten egg, then fold each circle in half over the filling and crimp the edges with your finger and thumb to seal them. (From Ellie: My husband also likes to use the tines of a fork to press the edges together. It seals the pastry nicely and gives the edges a finished look)
Line two baking trays with parchment paper, scatter a handful of cornmeal or polenta over the paper and place your pasties on top. Brush the pasties all over with more of the beaten egg and sprinkle over a little more cornmeal. Bake in the hot oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden.