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Chicken and Camembert Pie

Introduction & method

The combination of chicken and cheese isn't one I've come across before. It seems to be Australian, and it's actually very tasty.

Chicken and Camembert Pie Recipe

About the Pastry

As always with pies, you have several options for the pastry. You can use rough puff or flaky pastry for the lid and shortcrust or hot water pastry for the bottom. Or you can dispense with the puff lid and use the same pastry as for the bottom. Or you can actually get away with using puff for the top and the bottom - I've always thought that wouldn't work but I've tried it and it's OK. The bottom pastry won't flake, of course.
Using two types of pastry might seem like more work than you are prepared to do, and if it is you're welcome to use shop-bought pastry. But if you want to feel all virtuous, I have a separate recipe for rough puff pastry (linked below), and here's how to make hot water pastry.

Hot Water Pastry

Mix the salt with the flour in a large bowl. Cut the fat into small chunks - it will melt more quickly. Put the water and the fat in a small saucepan and heat them until the fat is all melted. Stir half of this mixture into the flour, then add the rest and mix well. Wrap the dough in plastic film and leave it to cool completely.

Make the Filling

Finely chop the celery and carrot. Peel and dice the onion - about 1 centimetre squares. Heat a generous amount of oil in a frying pan and gently cook the onion for about 5 minutes - you don't want to colour it. Add the celery and carrot, stir them well to get them coated in oil. Turn down the heat, put on a lid, and sweat the veggies for 5-10 minutes. Remove the lid, add the diced chicken and stir to get it whitened all over. Pour in the stock, add the pepper and herbs and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down as low as it will go, pour in the cream and taste it. Add salt if needed and cook for another 5 minutes. The sauce should be quite thick. If it isn't, make up a slurry of 1 tsp flour and 1 tsp water. Add that to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until the sauce has thickened. Take it off the heat and let it cool down.

Assemble and Bake the Pies

Heat your oven to 190°C (374°F) for a fan/convection oven, 210°C (410°F) conventional, gas 7. Find some dishes or rings to make your pies in - for individual pies they should be about 10cm (4 inches) across. Sprinkle flour on your worktop, take some dough and roll it out to about 4-5mm (quarter inch). If you're using puff pastry for the lid, be sure to choose that dough! Use a cutter that's the same diameter as your pie dishes and cut however many discs you need to form the lids. Set those aside then roll out the dough for the bottoms - this may be a different pastry than what you used for the tops. Roll it out big enough to cover the bottom, sides and rims of your pie dishes. Sprinkle one side generously with flour and press the dough into a dish, floured side down (the flour helps it to not stick). Trim any excess from the edge. 
Spoon the chicken filling in to about three quarters full. Place some chunks of camembert on top of the filling. Moisten the rim of the base with water, place the lid on and press it firmly down all around the edge. Do a bit of crimping if you feel like it. Paint the lids with egg wash and make three parallel slits in the top. Place the pies on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Chicken and Camembert Pie on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 250 grams plain (all-purpose) flour
 125 ml water
 100 grams lard
 half a tsp salt
 2 skinless chicken breasts
 250 grams Camembert cheese
 125 ml double (heavy) cream
 1 medium onion
 1 carrot
 1 stick celery
 250 ml chicken stock
 small handful flatleaf parsley
 1 tsp oregano
 half a tsp ground white pepper
  salt, to taste

One egg and a splash of milk to make eggwash for the pies.

US Customary/Imperial

Makes 4 -6 individual pies
Prep time: 25 minutes.
Pastry resting time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 1 hour.
Total time: 1 hour 55 minutes.