Chicken Pesto Pie

dinner, meat


600g chicken thighs, skinned, boned and diced

1 small onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

50g butter

½ cup basil and pinenut pesto

6 tablespoons flour

½ cup cream

400g crusty pie pastry (* You'll need more pastry if you make individual pies of course.)

¼ cup each roughly chopped fresh basil and toasted pinenuts (I used cashews for the party)


Kate: This is the recipe I used for the little pies I made for Natalie’s 21st party in 2012. It comes from the little ‘Variety’ charity cookbook and was submitted for the cause by the ‘New Gallery’ cafe and bar in Khartoum Place in Auckland.

James: WARNING: if you use pesto with a lot of oil, the oil stays super hot inside the pie(s) and can easily burn your mouthparts.


Pre-heat oven to 200ºC on fan bake if possible.

Mix first three ingredients together and cover with salted water. Simmer until just cooked. Strain stock and reserve.

Melt the butter, add the pesto and cook gently for one minute. Add ½ cup of the reserved stock and gradually add cream, stirring until well incorporated. Add the cooked chicken.

Line a 23 cm pie dish with crusty pie pastry. Fill with chicken mixture, top with fresh basil and toasted nuts.

Cover pie with pastry lid. Bake for 30 minutes until golden. Serves 6 -8.#

I changed that last bit and replaced with: #Using a cornish pasty pie press or individual pie-dishes, line, fill, and cover separate serving pies. Make holes in the top and paint with milk. Cook for 10 -15 minutes until golden. Serves about 9.#