Duck and chicken pie with soused cherries

Duck and chicken pie with soused cherries

Tara Fisher

There aren’t many things I find more enjoyable to cook than a simple pie, and I love hot-water crust pies most of all. Once you know how to make the pastry you can experiment with the fillings. The cherries work well, and figs would also be good.


Quantity Ingredient

Hot-water pastry:

Quantity Ingredient
100g butter, plus extra for greasing
100g lard
350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
A pinch sea salt


Quantity Ingredient
4 boneless, skinless duck breasts
2 banana shallots
2 garlic cloves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
a drizzle rapeseed oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 egg whites
200ml double cream
100g hazelnuts, skinned
25g fresh flat-leaf parsley
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Soused cherries:

Quantity Ingredient
300g cherries
75ml mirin
75ml rice vinegar
50g caster sugar


  1. Grease a 30 x 11cm springform or loose-bottomed loaf tin with butter, dust with flour and line the base with baking parchment. Place 2 long strips of folded-over foil in the tin lengthways, hanging over the edges, to help lift out the pie later. Now make the pastry. Cut the butter and lard into cubes. Bring the butter, lard, 75ml water and salt to the boil, then stir in the flour all at once to form a dough. Set aside to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough until it is 5mm thick. Cut into four 50 x 12cm rectangles. Place 3 pieces in the tin and gently push down into the corners, making sure it hangs over the edge. Put in the fridge to rest with the remaining pastry.
  2. Cut the duck breasts lengthways into 3 strips and season with salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick frying pan until very hot and fry until golden brown, turning halfway. Remove and set aside. Dice the shallots and garlic. Heat the same frying pan, add a splash of oil and the shallot, garlic and thyme, and cook gently until softened. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. Dice the chicken breast and place in a food processor with the egg whites, season with salt and pepper and process for about 1 minute. Add the cooked shallots and process again, then slowly add the cream. When it is well incorporated, transfer to a mixing bowl. Heat a frying pan until hot, add the hazelnuts and toast them lightly, then remove and roughly chop. Roughly chop the parsley, then add both to the chicken mixture.
  4. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Spread out 1cm of the chicken mixture in the bottom of the tin, then place a duck breast piece on top. Repeat to make layers, pushing down gently to remove any air pockets, until the tin is filled. Place the last pastry piece on top and press the edges lightly to seal. Trim off any excess and crimp the edges. Bake in the oven for 1¼ hours. Check occasionally to ensure that the pastry is not browning too quickly – if it is, cover it with foil. To make the soused cherries, halve the cherries, put in a pan with the mirin, rice vinegar and sugar and bring to the boil. Cook until reduced by half, then set aside to cool. Let the pie cool for 15 minutes before lifting it out. Serve warm or cold, with the cherries.
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
slow cooking
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