Why you’ll love it
This chicken and mushroom pie is total comfort food. Tender, juicy chunks of chicken and flavourful mushrooms all bathed in thick creamy gravy and wrapped up in the best buttery, flaky pastry.
This is the perfect weekend dinner. Loaded with cosy, comforting flavours, it’s great for cooler nights but I could eat food like this all year round and twice on Sundays. I bet you’ll find it hard to resist too.
This recipe gives you all the tips to get the very best out of every ingredient in this cosy chicken pie – being so few ingredients, that’s important – but there’s the option to take some shortcuts too for those who want to get it on the table quicker.
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A take on the steak and mushroom pie I grew up on, we use juicy chicken thighs here with a little butter and thyme for added flavour then cream for a richer gravy. I go an extra step with this chicken pie and caramelise the mushrooms (a step I don’t take with the steak pie). This adds so much extra flavour, especially when done in butter. It is an optional step that takes about 10 minutes; if you don’t want to take the extra time you can skip it and add them in raw, however you will sacrifice a little flavour.
This recipe is perfect for a comforting weekend family dinner or a day when you have a little more time up your sleeve. There is probably 35-40 minutes of hands on time total but I have a section further down the post on how you can take some shortcuts if you prefer.
Ingredients you’ll need
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Butter: I use salted butter here. Unsalted butter will work but if using it in the crust, add a good pinch of salt too. If using it for the filling, be sure to double check the seasoning of the filling before adding it to the pie.
- Swiss brown mushrooms: Swiss brown mushrooms have such an amazing flavour, so much better than regular white mushrooms. They are actually portabello mushrooms just harvested a few days earlier. You may known them by other names too such as cremini mushrooms, baby bella mushrooms or chestnut mushrooms.
- Chicken: You can’t have a chicken and mushroom pie without chicken. I love using boneless skinless chicken thighs for this; they’re flavourful and stay tender and juicy. You can also use chicken breast but it does tend to be a little drier.
- Fresh thyme: Fresh thyme adds wonderful earthy and cosy herbal flavour to this pie.
- Onion: Onion is always great for flavour in a pie. Umami and a little sweetness too.
- Flour: Plain flour (aka all purpose flour) is used to thicken the gravy in the pie and also in the homemade flaky pastry.
- Chicken stock: Chicken stock or chicken broth is the base of the gravy. You can use vegetable stock or even beef stock if you want a meatier gravy but chicken stock gives the best flavour.
- Cream: You’re looking for thickened cream or heavy cream. There is just a little in there to add creaminess to the gravy.
- Egg: One egg goes into the pie crust and we use an egg yolk to brush over the top of the pie before baking.
You can amp up the flavour even more by adding some bacon. Like the mushrooms and chicken, it’s best to cook it separately first then why not use the bacon fat to cook the mushrooms. Yum! In a French chicken and mushroom pie known as a tourte, there is also the addition of a little garlic and dijon mustard. All three together are wonderful.
How to make chicken and mushroom pie
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Cook the mushrooms: While you can skip this step, taking the 10-15 minutes to get your mushrooms nice and golden will add so much flavour to the pie. Just add some butter and oil to a large frying pan or skillet and cook them turning from time to time until they’re turning golden (photo 1).
- Cook the chicken: Next move on to cooking the chicken, making sure to get a little caramelisation on that too (photo 2) then set it aside.
- Deglaze the pan: The bottom of your pan now likely is covered in what is called “fond” – the caramelised proteins from the meat. You don’t want to burn that or lose it, so by adding a dash of water to the pan (photo 3), then using the spatula to scrape all that goodness from the bottom (photo 4), you’ve deglazed the pan and have loads of added flavour.
- Cook the onion: Add the onion and cook that until it softens (photo 5).
- Add the flour: Now add the flour and cook it for a couple of minutes (photo 6).
- Add the stock: Gradually pour in the stock (photo 7), mixing well to break down any lumps of flour and simultaneously deglazing the pan again.
- Add back the filling and simmer: Once you’ve added all the stock, add back the chicken and mushrooms (photo 8), bring it to a simmer and cook, uncovered for around 15 minutes until the gravy is nice and thick.
- Once the gravy is nice and thick (photo 9) stir in the cream (photo 10). Taste the gravy for seasoning and add some salt and pepper if you like.
- It’s important to let the filling cool before adding it the to pastry case.
- On to the pastry which is so easy to make. Grab your food processor and blitz together flour and butter.
- Add the egg (photo 11) and process again until it starts clumping (photo 12).
- Roll out ⅔ of the pastry and line your pie dish with it letting it hang over the edge of the pie dish (photo 13).
- Add the chicken and mushroom pie filling (photo 14).
- Roll out the remaining pastry and lay it over the pie filling.
- Use your finger and thumb on one hand, then a finger on the other hand to crimp the edge (photo 15). When you do this you’re aiming to press the two layers of pastry together and add a pretty edge to it.
- Brush the top with an egg wash and poke 3 holes in the top (photo 16) so that steam can vent as it bakes.
- Now bake!
Recipe shortcut options
If you want to save a little time here or there, here’s some options, however, keep in mind that each shortcut will sacrifice a little flavour.
- You can skip caramelising the mushrooms though, if you can take the extra 10 minutes, it is so worth doing.
- You can be chopping the chicken and onion while the mushrooms are cooking.
- You can be making the pastry dough while the chicken is cooking.
- You can even make the pastry dough up to 2 days ahead – it takes literally 5 minutes.
- If you’re doing the chicken in two batches, you could grab an extra pan and start softening your onions on the side.
- I love to let the chicken caramelise a little before moving on as caramelisation always adds such a depth of flavour but you could just get it to just-cooked through stage.
- You could swap making the pastry from scratch for store-bought pastry – shortcrust or puff pastry will work.
- Use shredded rotisserie chicken in place of the chicken thighs.
Store any leftover chicken and mushroom pie in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s best to cool it quickly – I do 20 minutes at room temperature, then sit it on a tea towel in the fridge to chill completely. It’s best eaten within 3-4 days.
Reheat as slices in the oven at 180C/350F for 15-20 minutes or the microwave until hot through. Note the pastry crust will be soft if reheating in the microwave.
You can freeze the baked or unbaked pie too. Thaw at room temperature for 1 hour or the fridge overnight. Bake the baked pie covered with foil for 35-40 minutes or until hot throughout. Bake the unbaked pie for around 50-60 minutes or until hot throughout.
There are different versions of chicken and mushroom pie and most will have originated in France or England hundreds of years ago. For instance, chicken pot pies originated in medieval England while the tourte is a French chicken and mushroom pie which includes dijon mustard and bacon pieces. The version I’ve created here is a take on the British steak and mushroom pie from my childhood.
A combination of flour and reduction will give you a nice thick chicken pie filling. You can also thicken it up with a cornflour slurry (cornflour and a little water mixed together) if you need to thicken it more.
Yes, you can freeze chicken and mushroom pie. You can assemble the pie then immediately freeze before baking, however, you’ll want to thaw slightly before baking – at least 1 hour. You can also freeze after baking. Thaw in the fridge overnight then reheat in the oven at 180C / 350F for around 35 minutes or until hot throughout.
Yes you can. While I recommend making your own flaky, buttery pastry from scratch which is actually really easy, you can simplify things by using store-bought puff pastry or even shortcrust pastry.
I recommend using a 9 – 9.5-inch pie dish. you can also use a 9-10 inch cast iron skillet or cake pan.
If your pie crust is soggy, it is likely your gravy was not thick enough. You need the gravy to be nice and thick to prevent it from seeping into the pastry before it has time to bake. It’s worth noting a metal pan will give a much crispier bottom crust than a ceramic or glass dish. I use a ceramic dish which works fine though.
Just wrap a piece of aluminium foil over the top while the pie finishes baking and this will prevent the crust from getting too dark or burning.
Did you try this chicken and mushroom pie recipe?
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FOR THE FILLING
- 3 tablespoons butter (salted)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 400 g swiss brown mushrooms (cremini, baby bella, chestnut), chopped roughly (14oz)
- 1 kg skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into small bite-sized pieces (2.2 pounds)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium brown onion, diced
- ⅓ cup plain flour (all purpose flour) (43g/1 ½oz)
- 1 litre low sodium chicken stock (4 cups)
- ¼ cup thickened cream (heavy cream), optional (60ml)
FOR THE PASTRY
- 450 g plain flour (all purpose flour) (1 pound)
- 225 g salted butter (1 cup / 8oz)
- 1 extra large egg
- 150 ml cold water (5 fl oz)
- 1 egg yolk beaten with a dash of milk (egg wash)
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- COOK THE MUSHROOMS (OPTIONAL BUT RECOMMENDED): In a large deep frying pan or skillet, add half the butter and half the vegetable oil over medium high heat.
- Once hot, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often until the moisture they release disappears and they start to get a little golden (10-15 minutes). Set aside in a large bowl.
- COOK THE CHICKEN: First, in a medium bowl, mix together the cubed chicken, salt, thyme, pepper and remaining oil.
- Add it to the pan and cook stirring now and then until cooked through and starting to turn golden (7-8 minutes). You may need to do this step in 2 batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. If you crowd the chicken it will steam instead of caramelise.
- Set the chicken aside with the mushrooms. After this step, you may have a lot of fond in the bottom of the pan. Fond is where proteins from meat caramelise on the pan and it’s all amazing flavour you don’t want to lose. Before it burns, add a dash of water and scrape all of that off the bottom of the pan. Leave it in the pan to cook along with the onions in the next step. This step is called deglazing the pan.
- COOK THE GRAVY: Over medium heat, add the remaining butter to the pan, and once melted add the onion. Cook 3-4 minutes until softened slightly.
- Add the flour and stir well so that it’s mixed through the onion. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring every so often.
- Slowly add the stock, stirring well as you do so that there are no lumps. Make sure to scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Add the mushrooms (whether you browned them or not) and chicken back to the pan and stir well. Bring the gravy to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes, uncovered, until reduced and quite thick.
- If the gravy gets too thick you can add a little more stock or a little water but you want it quite thick. The liquid should reduce by about half, remembering to stir every so often.
- Stir in the cream, if using. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer back to the large bowl and cool completely. Best done in the fridge but let it cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, then sit on a tea towel in the fridge to absorb any heat from the bowl.
- TO MAKE THE PASTRY: To a food processor, add the flour and butter and process until it looks like bread crumbs. Add the whole egg and blitz just enough to combine. With the food processor on low, slowly add the water until the dough starts to clump together.
- Tip the dough out onto a clean work surface and just pull together with your hands until it just holds together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour before continuing.
- TO ASSEMBLE: Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan forced) / 400F.
- On a floured surface, roll out half the pastry large enough to fit the bottom of a 24cm (9.5 inch) pie dish and about 3-4mm thick. Lay into the bottom of the pie dish making sure it overhangs the lip a little.
- Add the cold chicken and mushroom mixture into the dish and brush a little water around the edge of the overhanging pastry base.
- Now roll out the second half of the pastry dough and lay it over the top, making sure it overhangs the edges also. Trim off the overhang with a sharp paring knife. Using the thumb and forefinger of one hand and the forefinger of your other hand, pinch the edges together all the way round to seal the edge of the pie. Brush the top of the pie all over with the egg wash, then poke 3 holes in the top (so that steam can escape).
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and the top is golden all over. If it looks like it's browning too quickly, just cover with foil for the remaining baking time.
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons). Check yours before measuring.
- For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- Nutrition details are approximate only – scroll below the recipe to find the full nutritional information.
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