Do you prefer breast or a thigh? It sounds like a line from a 1970s sitcom, but as we approach British Pie week, (2-8 March 2015) the team at the Great British Meat Company have developed some tasty Pie recipes using chicken thigh as a replacement to the more common breast filling. It helps keep costs low and the combination of white and dark meat found in the thigh, gives a more balanced flavour.

With new research showing that 75% of Brits enjoy a pie at least once a month, British Pie Week celebrates the humble pie in all it’s glory and continues to grow in popularity with pie-eaters.



Originating at Midlands football grounds in the late-1990s, the balti pie is now synonymous with British Football culture and has become an adopted classic. That said, most people’s experience of a balti pie is generally ready-made shop bought, but that needed not be the case, as they’re much easier to make than you’d expect.

We’ve used chicken thighs rather than breast, as we think the mixture of white and dark meat on chicken thigh makes an ideal pie mixture, but if you prefer only breast meat use 500g diced chicken breast or 2 x chicken breast fillets instead

Serves 4 – (Makes 1 Large Pie or 4 individual Pies)

  • 4 x Chicken Thighs (roasted in the oven)
  • Packed ready made pastry
  • 50g butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 leek, shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons medium curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten, for pastry wash
  • salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven too 180ºC/gas mark 5

Cook the chicken thighs, ideally roasting, until fully cooked for about 20 minutes. When cooked, set aside and allow to cool.

Melt the butter in a pan and fry the shallot, then add the leek and garlic, and fry for about 5 minutes until everything is softened.

Stir in the flour and all the spices and then gradually add the stock, mixing and stirring over a low heat until the flour is cooked out.

Turn the heat off, then strip and dice the chicken meat from the thigh. You don’t want the skin so have that as a cooks bonus treat, and stir in the chicken and coriander to the ballot mix. Put the mixture aside and allow it to cool a little.

Roll or cut the pastry to give a third of the pastry for the pie top and use the larger piece to line a pie dish, and fill with the chicken mixture. Cover with the remaining piece of pastry and then pinch and crimp around the edges to seal it all together.

Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and put it into the oven. After about 15 minutes, take it out of the oven and brush with the egg wash again, then pop it back in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes or so.

Allow to cool down slightly before serving, either on it’s own, with chips, crisps, but almost certainly eaten in front of the footy.