The combination of chicken and leeks is a timely classic and makes a creamy pie filling. Serves 6
What’s in a Chicken and Leek Pie?
That seems a simple question, Chicken and Leeks. However, it is a question which requires a little more explanation. First, we need to make the chicken and leek filling, for which we’ll make a quick chicken stock by poaching the chicken, and then we’ll make a creamy sauce using the strained stock, leeks, and double cream.
Chicken Thighs and Trimmed Leeks
For this recipe, I’m using boneless chicken thighs as they have a stronger flavour than chicken breast but their fat content also keeps them moist while cooking for longer periods.
As for the leeks, trim off the dark green tops and any rougher outer leaves, and thinly slice. Reserve the trimming to add to the stock pot. The added vegetables will boost the flavour profile.
A Stock is essentially any infused liquid, but what a puritan would call chicken stock involves a chicken carcass, roasted and simmered in water for an hour. Here, we’ll simply poach our chicken in water with some vegetable trimmings and herbs. Then, remove the thighs, strain the stock and discard the aromatic vegetables.
Pastry for Topping Chicken and Leek Pie
Our chicken and leek pie uses puff pastry as it will rise and crisp up nicely. A light brushing of egg will give the pastry top a delicious golden colour.
1 kg Chicken Thighs, Skinned, and Deboned
2 Medium Leeks, Trimmed
4 Sprigs of Thyme, plus extra for the stock
45g Salted Butter
45g Plain Flour
1 Tsp English Mustard
200ml Double Cream
Salt / Pepper to Taste
320g Ready Rolled Puff Pastry Sheets
1 Egg, Beaten
- Preheat the oven to 190o Celsius / Gas 5.
- Bring a pan of water filled with the leek’s trimmings, and a few sprigs of thyme, to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the chicken thighs, whole, and poach for 20-25 minutes until the thighs have cooked through. Once cooked, remove the chicken, strain the stock, and reserve the liquid.
- Heat a large pan over a medium heat and melt the butter.
- Add the leeks with a pinch of salt and cook for 4-5 minutes until the leeks are tender.
- Stir in the flour and cook for another minute or until the flour has cooked out.
- Slowly stir in the stock, stirring to prevent any lumps. Once finished add the cream and mustard. Simmer for a minute or two while preparing the chicken.
- Carefully dice the cooked chicken thighs into 2.5 cm chunks and add to the pan.
- Pour the chicken mixture into a pie dish and cover it with the ready-rolled pastry. Trim off the excess. Fold and crimp the edges, if desired.
- Score or poke a few holes through the pastry to allow steam to escape.
- Lightly brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg, then place it in the centre of the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes or until crisp, and golden.