8 Celebrity Chef Signature Dishes... Made Simple

Paul Hollywood - Hand-raised Chicken & Bacon Pie
Makes two pies, Cooking Time: 3 Hours

Paul Hollywood

Before becoming Mary Berry’s co-judge on the Bake Off, Paul was the head baker at several luxury London hotels, and his own bakery makes morning deliveries to Harrods. Paul is a fountain of knowledge on all things bread, but it’s the tricky hot water crust pastry in this meaty pie which makes it his signature dish.


Preheat the oven to 200C/ Gas Mark 6 Combine the flours then rub the butter in with your fingertips to make a pastry mix.

Mix together the boiling water, salt and lard over a low heat until the lard melts. Pour the lard mixture on top of the flour mixture, stirring until everything comes together. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and bring together into a ball.

Wrap a piece of cling film around two clean, empty, straight-sided jam jars. Divide the pastry in two, and then remove a quarter from each half for the lids of the pies. With the remaining three-quarters of the pastry, place on a flat surface and place a jam jar on top of the pastry in the middle. Sculpt the still warm pastry around the dolly, try and make sure the pastry is an even thickness. Make sure the bottom is not too thick and that there are no holes in the pastry.

Chill the pie bases in the fridge for about 20 minutes. While they are chilling, roll out the reserved quarter of pastry into a circle to match the size of the pie top. Make a hole in the centre of each one and chill in the fridge.

Take the pastry cases out of the fridge and carefully pour boiling water from a kettle into each jam jar to soften the pastry and release it from the mould. If it softens too much and begins to sag you may need to chill again for 10 minutes or so. Trim the top of the pie shells to make sure they are even.

Keeping the meats separate, season the chicken and bacon well with salt, pepper and thyme. Layer the meat into the pie cases, starting with bacon, then chicken, then a layer of roughly chopped apricots. Repeat in layers until the pies are full.

Place on the lid and crimp around the sides, sealing thoroughly.

Brush the lids of the pies with egg wash. Place on a baking tray and cook for 50-60 minutes, or until the pastry is nice and crisp all the way around.

While the pies are baking, dissolve a chicken stock cube in 150ml oz of hot water. Soak two leaves of gelatine in cold water for five minutes. When soft, squeeze out the excess water and whisk into the warm stock.

When the pies are cooked, place them on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Carefully pour the stock into the slit on the pie lid, to fill in any spaces inside the pie with (what will be) chicken stock jelly. This must be done when the pie is hot, if done when cold the jelly will just sit on the top and not soak into the pie. Leave to set overnight before eating.

What You Will Need

  • - Makes two pies, Cooking Time: 3 Hours
  • - 40g strong flour
  • - 40g strong flour
  • - 130ml boiling water
  • - 1 teaspoon salt
  • - 60g lard
  • - 1 free-range egg
  • - 300g chicken breast and thigh meat
  • - 300g smoked back bacon rashers
  • - 2 sprigs of thyme
  • - Salt and pepper to season
  • - 240g dried apricots
  • - 2 leaves gelatine
  • - 140ml hot water
  • - 1 chicken stock cube