Hi! Welcome to my blog. I am a major foodie, with a haphazard cooking philosophy, currently making that transition from cooking and baking for friends and family to 'wonder if I could make this my career'. Follow me for recipes, the outcomes of a few experiments, and general lovely foodiness. Opinions, reviews and recommendations are all my own.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Chicken and Leek Pie, and a Productive Day

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
I never made any new years resolutions this year, but I am trying to be better at budgeting and less wasteful, both of money and food. In our house we are notoriously bad a portion control. I often buy meat to freeze, however when we defrost we wind up eating more in order not to waste it. Now I try to pre-portion meat into freezer bags, for example, if we buy a pack of four chicken breasts, I will separate them into two lots of two, then we only need to defrost what we need. Lately, I have extended this to fresh vegetables. Again, I prep, portion, bag and freeze, and then we can just take out what we need when we need it, and it saves me from that horribly guilty feeling of throwing out bad food at the end of each week. 

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. 

Here goes,

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

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.

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! 





4 comments:

  1. I was thinking of making a chicken pie this weekend too, but ended up doing sausage casserole instead. Might try this recipe when I get round to making chicken pie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love sausage casserole too! Somehow we always forget that the British classics are the best... we had the leftover pies for tea tonight and they were just as good second day around :-)

      Delete
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  3. Regarding your excess of meat when you defrost it, don't forget that you can refreeze it if you cook it first. If it's a large lump of meat, then cut off what you need for your recipe, and then do something like dicing the remainder and then cooking it and when cold, pop it back in the freezer - a ready made ingredient for a casserole, pie etc. We have to do it all the time!

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