March 27, 2014

Our Favourite Chicken & Leek Pie

There is nothing more comforting than a pie. And there is nothing more classic than a good ol' mince and cheese pie, all you Aussies and Kiwis are with me right? Am I right or am I right?? :)

When I was growing up, the mince and cheese pie was always a humble fave, and the chicken and vegetable option was always some nasty secondary option. A dry pastry casing filled with a gelatinous (read blubbery) chicken gravy with 1% chicken and 99% vegetables. However over the last couple of years I've perfected the art of a good Chicken pie with this Chicken & Leek version. Nudged and improved on over the years with some tips after trying out Jamie Oliver's Turkey & Leek pie, here is my recipe for our favourite Chicken & Leek pie!


Prep Time: 20mins | Cooking time: 30 mins on the stove, & 25-30mins in the oven | Pie dish required: square or oblong shaped, I used an enamel oblong pie dish that was 14cm x 22cm 


Chicken prep*
  • 6x Free Range Chicken Thigh fillets,(skinless and boneless), cut into strips
  • 1 TBSP Cornflour (Organic)
  • 1 tsp Maldon Salt (or regular table salt will do)
  • 1 tsp Cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp Coconut Sugar (or regular white sugar if you prefer)
  • Splash of olive oil
Remainder of filling
  • 50gm of butter + 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 6x Rashers of Strippy middle bacon, cut into small strips
  • 6x Fresh Thyme leaf sprigs
  • 1 big ol' Leek, sliced and washed
  • 1/4 cup of Plain Flour
  • 600ml Hot Chicken Stock (either fresh or made from a stock cube)
  • 2x TBSP Creme Fraiche
  • 1 good handful of Frozen Baby Peas
  • One (thawed) square sheet of Flakey Pastry
  • One egg, beaten (for finishing)
1.  Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius
2.  Place the chicken thigh strips in a large bowl, add the cornflour, salt, pepper, sugar and olive oil and set aside to marinate for 10-15 mins.
3.  Heat a wok/fry pan, add a dash of olive oil, and once the pan is nice and hot, brown your chicken strips and ensure you get a decent amount of caramelisation (you know, those brown crispy edges) on the chicken bits. Once half cooked and browned, place the chicken into a large bowl and set aside.
4.  With the pan still hot on the stove, add your butter + olive oil, bacon & the leaves of your thyme sprigs. Pan fry the bacon and thyme until crispy and the bacon fat has rendered.
5.  Add the sliced leek circles, stir around with the butter, bacon and thyme mixture so that the leek is nicely coated, then place the lid on your wok/fry pan, turn the heat down low and let simmer away for about 15 minutes or until the leek looks softened and starting to caramelise (there is no need to add water as moisture from the washed leek should help the mixture steam under the pan lid!)
6.  Once time is up or the leeks look ready, stir in your cooked chicken for a minute and then sprinkle over the flour and stir through.
7.  Add the hot chicken stock, turn the heat up and add the creme fraiche and stir this through. Allow the mixture to start bubbling away and simmer for about 3-4 minutes.
8.  Turn off the heat and then stir through your frozen baby peas. Ensure you taste along the way and season to taste.
9.  Strain the chicken filling mixture over a large bowl, then place this filling in the pie dish. Keep the liquid behind if you like gravy for serving! (Don't worry if you think the chicken mixture looks a bit dry, your chicken still holds a good perfect amount of thickened gravy... spoon over a few tablespoons of the strained over your filling if you feel the need though!)
10.  Cut your thawed pastry sheet to the size of your pie dish (right to the rim), place this pastry over your filling and tuck it in like you're tucking in a baby! Cut thin slits diagonally across your pastry sheet cover  and brush over with the beaten egg wash. Using the leftover pastry sheet, fiddle around make a pastry decoration if you like. I decided to make a flower with leaves and stuck these on top of the pie , then topped with some egg wash.
11.  Place the pie in your heated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the puff pastry turns golden brown. Let the pie stand out of the oven for 10-15mins before serving.

Serve with your gravy and a side salad, mmMMMm MMM.

If your puff pastry starts to look too brown around the edges whilst cooking, wrap the border of your pie with tin foil to prevent burning and place back in the oven until the main pastry portion has flaked up and turned golden.
Also, *if you have a roast chicken on hand, you could cut the chicken prep time right out and consider using the meat off one whole cooked chicken instead!

Had I known that chicken pies could be this delish, there wouldn't have ever been a secondary option, ever!

On a side note, lets unload the fact that my mind has been a bit unsettled for the past couple of weeks, thinking about what I need to prioritize most in life and what my current goals are with being a desk jockey in my corporate day job - (my 10th year working in a corporate environment). Actually, my mind has been unsettled for the past few months to be really honest. Could this be me heading towards a life changing moment? Is this what a mid-life crisis is like? Perhaps, but scary decision making aside, there is nothing to worry about. I'm back on track with a few ideas to continue blog posting.
Wow deep stuff to tack onto the end of a food post isn't it? :) Just thought I'd throw that one in there as it explains why the blog posts have been a little less frequent in the past weeks!
Hope all is well lovely peeps, have a happy weekend, happy pie making!


3 comments so far

  1. Hey maria...this pie looks delicious. ..I so wana make but pastries are not avaliable in you have a recipe I can make for the pastry :-)......btw I made the guacamole receipe of yours and it was absolutely yummy...thanks for sharing :-)

  2. oh wow not even Pastry!?!? I haven't made my own puff pastry before, but I'll be sure to put that on my list to find a great recipe and see what I can share after some trial and error :) thanks for reading Deepti!

  3. yea i was avaliable before but hasnt been imported for the last year or so.. :-(...


Mia Loves Pretty © . Design by FCD.