Chicken, Chorizo and Apricot Hand Raised Pie

This is a delicious pie that is suitable for lunch, buffets, picnics and at any time of the year. It is served cold and you can add jelly to it if you wish. If you want to make it spicy add some chopped fresh chilli to the onions for the last few minutes that they are cooking.

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For the Pastry
375g plain flour
375g strong white flour
2 tsp salt
140g butter
175g lard
For the filling
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp sunflower oil
600g boneless and skinless chicken thigh, cut into cubes
150g chopped chorizo
100g dried apricots
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
2 tbsp dried white breadcrumbs
700g skinned, boneless chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
For the jelly
3 long leaves of gelatine
450mls strong chicken stock



Yield – 10 Servings


1. First make the pastry; Grease a deep, 20cm round springform or loose-bottomed tin, then line the bottom and sides with baking parchment. To make the pastry, mix together the flours and 2 tsp salt in a large bowl, make a well in the centre. Cut up the butter and lard into small cubes and put in a small pan with 200ml water and melt carefully. Once melted, turn up the heat and when just bubbling, pour into the well and stir with a wooden spoon until it comes to a dough. Allow it to cool until it is still warm and pliable but not hot.

2. Once cool enough to handle, knead in the bowl until the dough comes together, then tip onto your work surface. Set aside a third, wrapped in cling film to keep it as warm and pliable as possible, while you quickly roll the remaining dough into a large circle about 10cm in diameter larger than the base of the tin. Ease it into the tin and press carefully up the sides. Push out any wrinkles and leave a little dough overhanging the top of the tin. Press into the corners of the tin but make sure you don’t make any holes or leave the pastry too thin in some parts as it may split whilst cooking.

3. Put it into the fridge to set whilst making the filling.

4. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Sweat it carefully over a low heat until the onion has softened but is not brown. Allow to cool slightly.

5. Put the chicken thighs into a food processor and process briefly until well chopped. (Note: if you do this for too long it will make the meat very tough). Put into a large bowl. Put the chorizo into the food processor bowl and process until well chopped, add to the chicken.

6. Add the sweated onion, dried apricots, parsley, tarragon and breadcrumbs to the chicken and chorizo and mix very well. Season well with salt and pepper

7. Slice each of the chicken breasts very evenly into two thin pieces.

8. Divide the mince into 3. Spread the first third into the base of the pie. Lay half the chicken breasts on top and season with salt and pepper. Spread the next third on top, making sure the chicken breasts are covered. Lay the remaining chicken breasts over the stuffing and season again. Finish with the final third of stuffing mixture.

9. Roll out the remaining pastry to a circle to make a lid for the pie. Place on top of the pie, excluding as much air as possible. Crimp the edges and make a steam hole in the top of the pie. Brush the top with beaten egg.

10. Heat oven to 200C/180 fan/gas 6. Bake the pie for 1 hr. Very, very carefully remove the pie from its tin, brush the top and side with more egg and bake for another 30 minutess until browned and crisp. Leave to cool completely before chilling.

11. If wished you can top up the chilled pie with jelly. Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5-10 minutes until soft. Squeeze out any excess water from the gelatine, then dissolve in the hot stock. Once cooled, carefully pour into your chilled pie through the small hole, using a funnel, until full – you may not need all the stock. If there are any holes either block them with some plugs of uncooked pastry or butter. Chill the pie for a few hours. Serve with chutney and salad.

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