Today I honestly feel I could rival Anthea Turner for her Good Housewife crown. In no particular order, I have done the biggest of big shops you could imagine, cleaned the oven (urgh), made two lasagnas to freeze, a batch of gorgeous Honey, Fruit and Nut Flapjacks (recipe to follow soon), portioned out meat and veg to freeze, and beeswaxed the furniture... phew! Then I made these Chicken and Leek Pies, one large one for dinner, and four smaller to freeze for Gary for later in the week. (my pie crust was a little thin on the large one - forgive me the cracked top, it still tastes delicious I promise!)
|Chicken and Leek Pie|
Anyway, back to my pies... I made these from fresh chicken, and a chicken stock cube, however they would work equally well, if not better, from leftover roast dinner meat and fresh stock from the carcass. The quantities here made one 8 inch pie and four 4 inch pies, but would equally make 2 8 inch or one large pie.
For the shortcrust pastry
300 grams plain flour
150 grams butter, cubed
120 ml cold water
1 egg, beaten
For the Chicken and Leek filling
400g chicken, uncooked or leftover will work equally, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
Small glass of white wine
2 leeks, sliced
1 litre chicken stock, either fresh or from a stock cube
3 medium carrots, diced
8 large mushrooms, diced
2 tablespoons double cream
3 teaspoons cornflour
To make the pastry, sift the flour into a large bowl, and mix in the salt. Cube the butter and rub into the flour to produce a fine crumb like texture. Add the water a tbsp at a time. I have quite warm hands, so use a fork for this stage to stir the water through the mixture, and add a small amount at a time until the pastry starts to ball up. I usually do not have to use the full amount of the water. Once the pastry starts to ball, use your hands to gather the mixture together and shape the dough into a ball.
Wrap the ball in cling film and place in the fridge.
Take a large saucepan. Heat a little oil until hot, then add the chicken and the herbs. Cook for a couple of minutes to brown the meat, then pour in the white wine and stir well. Add the leeks, and allow to soften. Meanwhile, make up the stock if you are using a stock cube.
Add the stock to the pan, along with the remainder of the vegetables. Turn down the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, until the chicken is well cooked.
Finally, add the double cream and stir well. To thicken the sauce, mix the cornflour with a little water, and add in three stages, stirring each time to check how thick the sauce is getting. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Take the pastry from the fridge, take half, and roll out on a lightly floured surface, to around 3mm thick. Transfer the pastry to a pie dish using your rolling pin. Gently press the pastry into the corners of the dish, then trim the excess.
Line the dishes with foil and blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes, remove the foil, and bake for a further 5 minutes.
Remove the dishes from the oven. Fill each of the pies with the chicken filling, and brush the edges of the pastry case with the beaten egg. Roll out the remaining pastry and make a lid for the pie by transferring the pastry to the top of the pie, pressing the edges lightly to join the egg-brushed edges, and trim the excess. Make a small slit in the top, and brush all over with the egg wash.
Bake for 25 minutes until the pie crust is golden. Remove from the oven, and serve. We ate ours with crispy roast potatoes... delish!