1 (1.6kg/31/2lb) whole chicken
1 onion, halved
1 large carrot, peeled
1 stick of celery, sliced
a few sprigs of parsley
25g/1oz of butter
45ml/3 tbsp plain flour
2250g/8oz baby button mushrooms, halved
45ml/ 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 (300g) pack ready made puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook: about 2hours
Serves 4 - 6
Place the chicken in a large pot with the onion, carrot, celery and parsley and cover with about 1.5ltr/3pts water. Bring to the boil, then gently simmer it for 1 hour or until the chicken is tender.
Lift the chicken from the pan, cool slightly, then use a knife and fork to remove all the meat from the bones and skin Reserve the meat and return the bones and skin to the stock pan.
Boil the stock rapidly for an hour until it is about a third of its original volume. Strain it through a colander or large sieve and discard the vegetables and bones. Measure the stock you should have about 600ml/1pt. This can all be done the previous day if you prefer.
Preheat the oven to 220C, Fan 200, Gas Mark 7. Place the stock butter and flour in a medium pan and bring to the boil, whisking all the time with a balloon whisk untl the sauce boil and thickens. Reduce the heat, stir in the mushrooms and leave to gently simmer for 4 mins. Season to taste. Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks and stir in the sauce with the parsley.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Place a 1.4ltrl/2 1/2pt oval pie dish in the centre of the pastry, roughly cut around it. Now cut strips of pastry from the pastry remaining around the edges. Brush the rim of the pie dish and attach the pastry strips to it. Spoon the chicken filling into the dish. Brush the pastry edges with water then lay the pastry in top.
Trim the edges, then pinch them together to seal. Use any scraps of pastry to make decorations for the top, attaching them with water. Brush the top of the pie all over with beaten egg. Make a steam hole in the centre of the pie. Place on a baking tray and bake for 25mins or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve with creamed potatoes and buttered carrots.