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Kentish Pudding Recipe

A traditional pudding from this area of South-East England, filled with chicken, bacon and mushrooms.

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For 4-6 people:

For the pastry

- 275g Self-Raising Flour, plus a little extra for rolling out
- 140g Suet
- 2 big pinches of Salt
- about 100g cold water

For the filling

- 1 lb/450g uncooked Chicken meat, cut into big pieces - boned and skinned thighs are ideal
- 50g Butter
- 1 big Spanish Onion, peeled and finely-chopped
- 1 big, or 2 medium cloves of Garlic - finely chopped (optional, but not traditional)
- 150g Streaky Bacon, cut into pieces and the rind removed
- 250g Flat Mushrooms, wiped with a cloth, if dirty - then sliced
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) Flour
- 400ml Chicken Stock (made with 1 cube, if necessary)
- 100ml Dry White Wine (this would have originally been verjus, made from apples)
- 2 tablespoons of washed and chopped Parsley
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) Salt and a generous quantity of freshly-ground Black Pepper

Equipment needed: 2 litre pudding basin; a deep-sided pot (with a lid) capable of holding the pudding; a piece of tin foil, larger than the pudding bowl; some string.


- Make the pastry first, by mixing the flour, salt and suet together in a bowl - then adding enough water to make a firm, but soft, dough.

- Roll out the pastry into a large circle (using a little extra flour to stop it sticking); and line the pudding basin - right to the top.

- Cut a quarter section out of the circle, so the bowl is easier to line.

- Re-roll this section out to form a circle, big enough for a lid.

To make the filling

- Melt the butter over a low heat, in a deep frying pan, large enough to easily hold all the chicken.

- 'Sweat' the chopped onions until translucent and a little soft, add the chopped garlic (if using) and cook for a further two minutes, stirring.

- Increase the heat to medium and add the chicken pieces.

- Stir them around, so they seal and become opaque on all sides.

- Remove the chicken and most of the onions to a side dish, leaving as much liquid behind as possible.

- Add the remaining butter, and reduce the heat to low.

- Add the bacon pieces and after a further two minutes the sliced mushrooms. Stir around until the mushrooms are soft and have absorbed the butter.

- Add the flour and mix well in.

- Slowly add the wine, followed by the chicken stock - season with the salt, pepper and parsley.

- Bring the mixture to the boil.

- Remove from the heat and mix the sauce with the chicken.

- Fill the pudding bowl with the chicken mixture.

- Cover the pudding with the top, and make a good seal - using a little water, if necessary.

- Cover the bowl with tin foil, so it has a good overlap, and fix this in position with string.

- Half-fill a big saucepan with boiling water and carefully lower-in the pudding basin.

- Cover with a lid and 'steam" over a medium heat for 3 hours - topping up the water occasionally so that it's always about half-way-up the pudding basin.

Serve straight from the bowl.

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