Lidgate’s has been a family-owned London mainstay for 160 years, so trust third-generation restaurateur Danny Lidgate to showcase the very best meat Holland Park has to offer. His new recipe collection is a juicy tribute to the cuisine that made his family famous. Grab a knife and dig in!
We always look forward to the English asparagus season. In this pie, the spears form a great partnership with chicken — a real treat for a family supper or an informal dinner party. The woody ends, often discarded, are used here to make a tasty stock for the sauce.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 banana shallot, finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon plain flour
- 1/4 pint full-fat crème fraîche
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 14 1/2 ounces asparagus, woody ends broken off and reserved
- squeeze lemon juice
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pastry
- Scant 1 cup plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- pinch fine sea salt
- 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small dice
- 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons milk, for eggwash
For the stock and chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 celery stick, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
- 6 meaty chicken drumsticks
- 2 cups water
For the pie
First make the pastry. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour using your fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add half the eggwash and mix roughly with a table knife. Use your hands to form it into a dough, then knead briefly. Shape it into a ball, wrap in clingfilm or greaseproof paper and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the stock. Pour the oil into a saucepan, add the celery, onion, carrot, bay leaf and woody asparagus bits and sweat over a medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine (if using), bring to the boil and bubble for a minute to burn off the alcohol.
Add the drumsticks and water to the pan, return to the boil, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
Strain the stock and measure out 400 milliliters (14 fluid ounces). Save any left over for use in another dish. Discard the vegetables and bay leaf. Allow the chicken to cool slightly, then take the meat off the bones, discarding the skin. Cut into large chunks.
Melt the butter in a sauté pan on a medium-low heat, add the shallot and celery, season well and cook until soft (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Sprinkle in the flour, add the measured stock and crème fraîche, stir to combine and bring to the boil. Allow to bubble away to thicken slightly. Add the chicken chunks and asparagus tips and simmer for 3 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Tip the chicken mixture into a pie dish, about 25 x 20 x 7 centimeters (10 x 8 x 3 inches). Put a pie funnel or an upturned egg cup in the center.
Dust a work surface with flour and roll out the pastry so it is about 5 centimeters (2 inches) larger all around than the pie dish. Cut 2.5-centimeter (1-inch) strips from each edge of the pastry. Press these onto the lip of the pie dish, trim off any excess and brush with the remaining eggwash. Press the pastry lid firmly on top of the pastry rim, then crimp the edges together to seal. Reroll the pastry trimmings and cut out shapes to decorate the pie, sticking them on with the eggwash.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden and the pastry is cooked through.