As the name suggests, Victorian Chicken Pie is based on an old recipe that was much favoured in rural England about 150 years ago. The little touch of chili powder is the only concession to the 21st century that deviates from the original recipe.
How to make Victorian Chicken Pie:
Cook the chicken as described in our Easy Cook Chicken recipe
. Allow to cool, then strip the flesh from the bones and cut into bite-size pieces. Allow the liquid cooking stock to cool, then remove any surface fat. (Don't forget to keep the chicken bones and skin to add to the remaining cooking liquid to make a great chicken stock
Wash and slice the mushrooms then core, de-seed and thinly slice the green pepper. Melt the butter in a pan, add the mushroom and pepper and fry gently until they are soft. Slowly stir in the flour then gradually add the soured cream, stirring all the time. Stir in the stock from the chicken plus the sherry and the chili powder. Continue to stir whilst bringing the mixture to the boil, then fold in the chicken pieces. Add salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste and then transfer to a 2½ pint (1.5 ltr) pie dish.
Roll the pastry out thinly so that it is about 2" (5cm) larger than the dish (to avoid it sticking, roll the pastry on a flat surface that has been lightly dusted with flour). Trim off a narrow strip about 1" (2.5cm) all round and use it to cover the dampened rim of the pie dish. Brush this strip with water or milk then cover the whole dish with the pastry, sealing the edges well. Using a sharp knife, trim the surplus pastry from round the edges, make a small hole in the centre of the pastry to allow the steam to escape, then use the surplus pastry to cut a few little leaf-shapes that can be placed on top of the pie for decoration.
Beat the egg and brush this over the top of the pie. Place into a preheated moderate oven (Mk 6 - 400ºF - 200ºC) for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown, then serve hot with new potatoes and peas.
You can use a pre-cooked chicken if you wish, but you'll have to make the stock by dissolving 1 chicken stock cube into 5 fl oz (150ml - ¼pt) of hot water.
If you want to remain 'true' to the original recipe, use ½ teaspoon of English mustard instead of chili powder. (Genuine English mustard is very hot!)