This creamy chicken and ham pie, with tender chunks of chicken and pieces of ham in a light gravy, topped with crispy golden pastry, is a firm family favourite. Made with a single layer of pastry on the top, it is lighter in calories than a pie with a pastry top and bottom – and there is no danger of a soggy bottom!
Chicken and ham pie is a chicken pie I have been making for years, and one my mum made all the time growing up – it is my brother’s favourite dish and he would request it whenever he possibly could! There is something so comforting about a chicken pie, whether it’s made with leftover roast chicken like in my chicken and leek pie, or cubes of fresh chicken thigh, as in this recipe.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chicken – I often use chicken thigh as I prefer the flavour, but you could use chicken breasts instead. Cook them the same way as the thigh.
- Pastry – I have included a simple shortcrust pastry in the recipe card, but you can also use store bought shortcrust pastry or puff pastry.
- Ham – Sliced ham, leftover cooked ham or gammon. If you had bacon, you could use that – slice into bitesize pieces and fry after the chicken. If you have any ham leftover from this recipe, these ham and cheese pinwheels are great for lunchboxes!
- Mustard – wholegrain or dijon mustard.
- Onion – As you will see from the images I used a red onion when photographing the ham and chicken pie, but brown onions work just as well.
- Fresh Thyme – If you don’t have fresh thyme, use ½ – ¾ teaspoon of fresh thyme.
How to make Ham and Chicken Pie
(For full recipe please see recipe card below.)
- Season the chicken.
- Fry until light golden.
- Cook the onion.
- Add fresh thyme and garlic.
- Stir in flour.
- Add milk, stock, mustard and return chicken to the pan and cook.
- Spoon into baking dish and cool slightly.
- Add chopped cooked ham to the pie filling.
- Line the edges of the dish with pastry.
- Top the pie with pastry, decorate and brush with beaten egg (optional).
Yes it can. You can use bought puff pastry, or make your own (although it’s far easier to buy puff pastry!). It adds a lovely light and flaky topping to your pie.
Adding flour to the sauce and cooking it slightly before adding the stock and milk thickens the filling.
Adding an egg to the pastry makes it easier to roll out and far less crumbly than pastry made without an egg.
Yes you can. Wash the sprigs of thyme, dry thoroughly, and then freeze on a tray. Once frozen transfer the sprigs to a bag, or take the leaves off the stems and store these in a bag in the freezer.
My Recipe Tips
- If making your own shortcrust pastry, put it in the fridge for a couple of hours after you have made it – this helps prevent it from shrinking when you roll it out.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge 15-30 minutes before you want to use it – this will make the pastry easier to roll.
- Flour the surface and your rolling pin well when rolling out the pastry to prevent it from sticking.
- Brushing the pie with beaten egg makes the baked pie lovely and shiny and golden. This step is optional, but will produce a golden crusted pie. You can use milk instead, but it won’t look as golden.
- If you want to use leftover cooked ham/gammon and leftover chicken or turkey, add to the sauce when the recipes says to add the ham.
Filling: You can make the filling up to 3 days ahead, cool and store, covered in the fridge.
Pastry: You can make the pastry up to 3 days ahead too. Wrap it well and keep in the fridge.
Freezer: You can freeze the cooked filling, defrost in the fridge overnight and top with pastry and bake. You can also freeze the pie made with uncooked pastry, and once cooked.
- A leafy green salad with crunchy lettuce and cucumber, or this rocket pomegranate salad.
- Steamed or boiled carrots, peas, broccoli or green beans.
- Add some potatoes in the form of crunchy roast potatoes, duchess potatoes or mashed potato.
More easy pie recipes for you
Chicken and Ham Pie
- 125 g plain flour
- 125 g butter roughly chopped
- 1 egg beaten
- 1-2 tbsp cold water
Chicken Ham Filling
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 200 ml stock chicken or vegetable
- 100 ml milk
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 125 g ham roughly chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- black pepper
- 1 egg beaten, optional – for glazing top of the pie, or milk
To make the pastry:
- In a food processor, mix the butter with the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Mix the egg with 1 tablespoon of cold water and add to dough.
- Mix until just starting to form clumps, adding a little more water if it is still very crumbly.
- Turn the pastry out onto a board or work surface and knead gently to bring it together.
- Place onto a sheet of cling film/wrap and wrap tightly.
- Place in fridge for at least 2 hours.
Chicken Ham Filling:
- Season the chicken thighs with salt and black pepper.
- Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the chicken for 5 minutes each side, until golden.
- Remove from the pan to a plate.
- Add the other ½ tablespoon olive oil to the pan and cooked the onion for 5 minutes until soft.
- Add the crushed garlic and fresh thyme and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the flour.
- Add the stock, milk and mustard and stir.
- Chop the chicken into bite size pieces. It will still be a little raw in the middle, don't worry, it will finish cooking in the sauce.
- Add the chopped chicken to the sauce and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Pour into a 17 x 26cm (6.7" x 10") dish and cool. You can pop this into the fridge once cool, freeze, or let cool for 10 minutes before adding the pastry.
- If cooking the pie straight away, preheat the oven to 200˚C fan /220˚C / 392˚F convection / 428˚F
- Take the pastry out of the fridge 5 minutes before you want to use it.
- Dust a board or clean work surface with flour, then roll the pastry out to 3mm – 5mm (0.11" – 0.19") thick.
- Optional step: cut strips of pastry 1 cm (0.4") wide. Brush the tops of your baking dish sides with egg and cover with pastry strips. Brush these pastry strips with egg and lay the pastry on top.
- Lay the pastry over the chicken filling and using a sharp knife, cut around the egdes of the dish, leaving a slight overlap.
- Use any scraps of pastry for decoration, fixing them to the top with a little beaten egg or milk.
- Cut a couple of slips in the top of the pastry to let the steam out.
- Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg or a little milk and place into the oven for 30 minutes, until the pie is golden brown on top and bubbling at the edges.