Dublin Bay Prawn and Chicken Pie
Inspired by a Cornish Stargazie pie from Mousehole, where the pilchard or sardine heads stick out of the pastry lid. If you can’t find fresh Dublin Bay prawns (langoustines), use lobster, crayfish or prawns and make the sauce in the same way.
- 16–20, fresh Dublin Bay Prawns
- 500g chicken thighs, boned and skinned, each cut into 4 pieces
- 1/2 small bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves chopped
- 1/2 bunch of tarragon, leaves chopped
- 1kg short crust pastry
- 1 medium free range egg, beaten
- Salt and ground white pepper
- For the Dublin Bay prawn sauce:
- Sunflower oil for frying
- Dublin Bay prawn shells (From above)
- 1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- Pinch of saffron strands
- 3 sprigs tarragon
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 60g unsalted butter
- 60g plain flour
- 60ml white wine
- 1 litre chicken stock, kept hot in a saucepan over a medium heat
- 400ml double cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the short crust pastry:
- 250g lard, straight from the refrigerator
- 500g strong flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 250ml cold water
If not using ready-made pastry, cut the cold lard into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Add the sieved flour, salt and baking powder and mix with your hands to a fine breadcrumb. Slowly add the water - you may not need it all - and mix to form a soft dough. Do not over mix. Wrap in Clingfilm and store in the fridge until needed. If you have any left over, freeze for another time.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the prawns and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into cold water. Remove the meat from the shells (and claws if they are big enough). Break the shells up a little with a heavy knife and keep to one side. Keep the best heads for presentation.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the chicken stock (a good quality cube is fine) to the boil, add the chicken thighs and poach for 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the stock, put to one side and keep the stock hot.
To make the sauce, heat the sunflower oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and fry the prawn shells, shallots and garlic over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until they begin to colour lightly.
Add saffron, tarragon, tomato purée and stir well.
Add butter and flour and stir well into the shells.
Gradually stir in the white wine and the hot stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add cream. Season lightly, bring to the boil and simmer for a further 5 minutes, stirring from time to time to ensure that the sauce doesn’t burn.
Strain the sauce through a sieve into a bowl, pressing the shells with a spoon to ensure all the sauce goes through. Pour the sauce into a clean saucepan, bring to the boil. The sauce should have a thick consistency by now. If not, simmer for a little longer and then remove from the heat. Add the chicken, prawns, parsley and tarragon leaves to the sauce. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, and fill individual pie dishes, or one large one, until about 1cm from the top.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / gas mark 6.
When the pie mixture is cold, roll out the pastry to a thickness of 5mm and cut out a top or tops, for thepie(s). These should be about 2cm larger all the way round than the dish (or dishes). Brush the edges ofthe pastry with a little of the beaten egg. Lay the pastry on top, pressing the egg-washed undersides against the rim of the dish. Cut a small slit in the top of each pie to allow steam to escape and brush with beaten egg. Place the langoustine head in the middle. Leave to rest in a cool place for 30 minutes. Cook the pies for 30 minutes if individual and 40 minutes if large, until the pastry is golden. Serve the pie with buttered greens and heritage potatoes, such as Pink Fir Apple.