Chicken, cheese and mushroom tarts

These tarts make a great meal for lunch or dinner. The buttery, crumbly pastry, succulent chicken and flavoursome veggies are what makes these tarts such a delight. They can be served with some homemade coleslaw, a leafy side salad or some crispy homemade chips.

In this recipe I made the shortcrust pastry from scratch, however, if you still want to enjoy these delicious tarts but do not have the time to make the pastry, ready-made short crust pastry rolls can also be used.

(Scroll down for full recipe)

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Then begin making the dough for the shortcrust pastry by combining the flour, salt and butter in a large bowl. The mixture should be light and resemble fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the water then knead together for 5-8 minutes to form a soft, smooth dough.

Tip: You can use a stand mixture with the K-beater attachment to make the dough.

Roll out the dough to 1/2 cm thickness, then cut it vertically and horizontally into rough square shapes.

Fit the pastry into the tart tins then poke holes into the base using a fork. Doing this prevents the pastry from puffing up when it is cooking, leaving room for the delicious filling. Bring any scraps of dough together then repeat the process of rolling it out and fitting it into the tart tins. Next, bake the tart cases in the oven for 6-7 minutes until they are cooked through. Once all of the tart cases are cooked decrease the temperature of the oven to 130°C/ 1/2 Gas mark

Tip: Increase the cooking times if you decide to make one 10-inch tart. Bake the tart case in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Create the delicious filling for the tarts by dicing the chicken and veggies. Season the chicken with the herbs and spices (listed in the recipe below) then fry for 2-3 minutes over a high heat until golden. Next, add in the vegetables and continue to fry until cooked, this should take approximately 5 minutes.

Fill the cooked pastry cases with the filling. First 2 tsp of cheese in each case then 1 tbsp of the chicken and vegetable mixture.

Then in a small jug, whisk together the double cream, milk, English mustard, salt and pepper. Pour this mixture into the tart cases, making sure to fill each one. Finally, sprinkle over the chopped parsley.

Bake the tarts in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the egg and cream mixture is cooked.

Tip: for the 10-inch tart add 5-10 minutes extra to the final cooking time.

Serve with your favourite sides and enjoy!

Substitues: To make this a vegetarian dish, swap the chicken with extra veggies!

Recipe

Serves: 8

Eight 4-inch tarts / One 10-inch tart

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

FOR THE shortcrust pastry:
  • 250g Plain flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 110g Unsalted butter
  • 5 tbsp Water
FOR THE Filling:
  • 6 Mushrooms
  • 1 White onion
  • 80g Mature cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp Fresh parsley leaves (chopped)
  • 1/2 Chicken breast
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Dried herbs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 Large egg
  • 100ml Double cream
  • 1/4 tsp English mustard
  • 2 tbsp Rapeseed oil (for frying)

Method:

preparing the pastry:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4
  2. Place the flour and salt into a large bowl, then dice the butter into 2cm cubes.
  3. Rub the diced butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
  4. Next, add in the water and knead well for 5 minutes to form a smooth dough.
  5. Cover with cling film or a damp tea towel and leave to rest.
preparing the filling:
  1. Dice the garlic, onion and mushrooms.
  2. Finely dice the chicken, then season it with 1/2 tsp of salt,1/2 tsp pepper, paprika and dried herbs.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat, then add in the chicken and fry for 2-3 minutes. Next, add the onion, mushrooms, garlic and the remaining salt and pepper and fry for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the fried chicken and veg from the pan and place in a small bowl.

(Double the filling measurements if you are making the 10-inch tart).

cooking the tarts:
  1. Unwrap the pastry dough and roll out to 1/2cm thickness, then cut horizontally and vertically into 4 equal pieces.
  2. Place each section of pastry into a tart case and poke holes in the base with a fork to stop it from rising. Then bake in the oven for 6-7 minutes until cooked.
  3. Bring together the dough scraps then repeat step 1 and 2 until all of the pastry is used up.
  4. Once the tart cases have cooled, add 2 tsp of cheese and 1tbsp of the chicken and veggie filling into each case.
  5. In a small jug whisk together the egg, cream, mustard, salt and pepper then pour into the tart cases and top with chopped parsley. (Double the egg and cream mixture for the 10-inch tart)
  6. Bake the tarts in the oven at 130°C/ 1/2 Gas mark for 15-20 minutes until they are set and firm.

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