Tarragon Crusted Chicken, Leek & Mushroom Pie

From Ainsley’s Food We Love, ITV.

Aromatic bittersweet tarragon is a perfect match for chicken and it really takes this classic pie to another level. This recipe is for a large family pie but you can also make individual pot pies if you prefer.


Preheat the oven to 200C/180Cfan/Gas6. Place a baking tray in the oven to heat up.

First make the pastry. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter cubes and, using your fingertips, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir through the tarragon. Add the water gradually, stirring it in with a palette knife. When the dough starts to come together, knead with your hands until it forms a ball. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.

Place the flour in a large bowl and then use to coat the chicken pieces, shaking off any excess. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large deep-sided frying pan over a medium heat and add the chicken pieces. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side until beginning to brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining oil and stir in the leeks, mushrooms and garlic and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until softened but not coloured. Return the chicken to the pan, pour in the wine and bring to the boil and cook for 1-2 minutes scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits of flavour.

Pour in the stock and cream and simmer for 5-6 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir through the tarragon, parsley and lemon zest and season well.

Spoon the cooled chicken filling into a pie dish (35cm x 25cm) Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until slightly larger than your pie dish. Carefully place on top of the pie and trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife. Press the edge of the pastry down to seal. and crimp with a fork. Make two small holes in the top to allow steam to escape and brush the top with a little egg to glaze. Place on the heated baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.

Serve with Tenderstem or your favourite greens.



  • 200g plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 100g butter, chilled, cubed
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water (with a squeeze of lemon)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • egg, beaten with a dash of milk, to glaze
  • 4 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 500g chicken thighs, skinless and boneless, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 chicken breasts, skinless, cut into bite size pieces
  • 4 tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 leeks, washed, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 150g chestnut or button mushrooms
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • 120ml dry white wine
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 120ml double cream
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper