Chicken & Chorizo Pie

This recipe is based on Jo Balletti’s “Chick in Basque Pie“. Jo is as ever much more thorough, makes her own pastry, and ultimately a superior pie. This is a more rough and ready pie which relies heavily on pre-made pastry. And more garlic.


  • 1 sheet shortcrust pastry
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 2 to 4 chicken breasts
  • 250g (ish) of chorizo
  • 1 large onion
  • At least half a bulb of garlic
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 can black pitted olives
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes. Plain or with basil.
  • Tomato purée
  • Chicken stock cube
  • All spice (yes, the stuff other people put in cakes)
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Sweet smoked paprika
  • Hot smoked paprika
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine (mainly for direct consumption)

Base Method

  • Big pot. Cover the base with olive oil. Put on a medium heat.
  • Peel onion and garlic. Blend or chop finely. Add to pot.
  • Let that get going. Add a bit of all spice.
  • Chop the chicken. Fry it in olive oil with some (more) all spice to seal it. If the pot is big enough you can push the onion and garlic mix to one side and fry the chicken in there. Otherwise, use a separate pan, then add to the pot once sealed.
  • Chop up the chorizo. Bung that in the pan too. More heat now, probably.
  • Chop up the red peppers. In the pan they go.
  • Fry that all up for a bit.
  • Add more basil than you think you should.
  • Add much more oregano than you think you should.
  • Boil up some water in the kettle. Make up some chicken stock (1 cube, about 200ml water). Add that to the pot.
  • Stir that lot for a while. Pop the oven on at 180C.
  • Add the can of chopped tomatoes. Rinse it out with a splash of water from the kettle or wine and bung that in too. Reduce to a lower heat.
  • Add as much of both paprikas as you think you should.
  • Taste test. Add more basil / oregano / sweet paprika / hot paprika / tomato purée until it tastes as you like it.
  • Consider chopping the olives if they are whole. Traditionally, get bored about a quarter of the way through the can, bung it all in however it is.
  • Add some wine to the pot if there’s any left by now.
  • Leave on a low heat.

Pie Method

  • Clean a surface.
  • Clean a pie tray. Grease it with butter or margarine or diesel as you prefer.
  • Roll out the shortcrust pastry until it is slightly bigger than the base of the tray.
  • Line the pie tray with that shortcrust pastry.
  • Roll out the puff pastry until it is slightly bigger than the shortcrust pastry was.
  • Pour the base mix into the pie tray on top of the shortcrust pastry.
  • Cover with the puff pastry. Try and seal it all the way around. Use any excess of either pastry to decorate if that floats your boat.
  • Shove it in the oven for about 40 minutes. Keep an eye on it though – may need more or less time to look “right” – browned off a little but not burnt.

I usually serve with a load of steamed greens. Here follows, for reference, a selection of photos from various previous attempts.