This was the first recipe I made from Rachel Allen’s Bake, a book that I bought almost a year ago. I am only sorry that it’s taken me so long to try a recipe out of it, because if this first one is anything to go by, it’s a good’un. This pie was absolutely fantastic — H. and I are still raving about it weeks later and I am trying to wait an appropriately healthy length of time before I make it again (it does use a whole pastry sheet!).
Chicken and leek pie definitely screams “fall,” so hopefully it’s lashing with wind and rain when you make this, for full effect. If you do not already have leftover chicken, this is more of a weekend dish. I made it on a weeknight and didn’t quite allow enough time — it takes about 1.5 hours to bring it all together if you start with uncooked chicken.
Here’s how to make it.
Chicken and leek pie, adapted from Rachel Allen (serves 2 generously, with some left over)
- Preheat oven to 230°C.
- Place chicken (about 1kg worth) in a large heavy pan, along with 300ml chicken stock, 100ml white wine, dried herbs of your choice, and salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, in another pan, melt 1 tbsp butter in a pan. Add in 2 sliced leeks and 1/2 tbsp of water. Season, cover, and cook gently until the leeks soften. When they are cooked, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon.
- With the remaining buttery leek juices left over (not a lot), add 1/2 tsbp of plain flour to make a roux.
- Chicken: when it is cooked, place the chicken pieces on a plate to dry, and bring the poaching liquid to a boil. Add in 175ml double cream, and simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Whisk in the roux, followed by 1 tsp Dijon mustard.
- Pull the chicken off the bones and add it to the sauce along with the leeks. Taste and season again if necessary.
- Pour the filling into an ovenproof dish, and cover with a sheet of puff or shortcrust pastry.*
- If you want, brush with a beaten egg for a shiny finish (I didn’t both with this — was too hungry by this point). Cook for 10 minutes at 230° and then a further 20-25 minutes at 200°.
*Rachel says either work. I used shortcrust.
There are a lot of steps involved, but it’s worth it (and if you start with leftover chicken it will be much faster). This was the best chicken pie I have ever tasted and I will definitely be adding this to my regular repertoire.
I don’t have a photo for this one — not for lack of trying, but simply because they didn’t turn out well.