1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cooked and shredded
scant 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening (or suet if you can find it)
1 large slice of bread, crust removed and crumbled
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
pinch of ground nutmeg
salt and white pepper
2 tablespoon softened butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Heat the oven to 390º F. Roll out the pastry crust, then cut out circles to fit into the slots of a muffin tin. Be sure to make them the right size to go up the sides, then crimp the edges in a decorative pattern, if you wish.
Bake the cases blind by placing a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil in each crust and then fill the bottom of each with pie weights (pennies, beans and split peas will work as well). Bake for 8-10 minutes, then remove the cover foil or parchment paper and bake for 3-4 minutes longer.
Mix the chicken, shortening, breadcrumbs, parsley, lemon zest, nutmeg and seasoning together in a bowl. Set aside.
Blend the butter and flour together with a little stock to make a soft paste.
Bring the chicken stock to a boil, gradually add the butter and flour paste and stir constantly until it becomes a thick sauce. Add the chicken mixture and heat through.
Fill the pastry cases with the chicken mixture and serve hot, or let the filling cool then fill the cases and serve them cold.
Adapted from The Jane Austen Cookbook by Maggie Black and Deirdre Le Faye.