Chicken and Leek Pan Pie
I bloody love a pie. In fact, who doesn’t love a pie? I do, however, class a pie as very much a weekend dish, when you have a little more time on your hands. Not so this Chicken and Leek Pan Pie. It utilises the joy of bought puff pastry and is all made and baked in the same pan so there won’t be hours worth of washing up to contend with either, hooray.
I discovered the idea of a one pan pie courtesy of a snatched 5 minutes with Jamie Oliver on the sofa. It seems liked such a simple idea and one I would use to top my own favourite pie filling. Chicken and Leek being the pie of Gods, in my humble opinion, and perfect for a cold, winters evening. The filling is a divine mixture of sautéed chicken and leeks with a cream based, simple sauce. I used chicken breast, but you could use chicken thighs or fill yours with cold chicken from a roast, or God forbid, is it too early to mention your Christmas turkey and ham leftovers? The filling is topped with shop bought puff pastry unless you feel like making your own. The whole pan then has a toasty half an hour in a hot oven to crisp the whole lot to golden perfect. And it’s bloody amazing.
My only advice is, don’t forget the pan will have a very hot handle after it’s spell in the oven as I wouldn’t want a blistered hand to spoil the enjoyment of your delicious pie.
There are two things to take into consideration in this line up. Due to my slightly woolly, menopausal brain, I used almost double the amount of chicken stock needed and forgot the egg. My pie, therefore, will appear slightly saucier than yours, but we can’t all be perfect all of the time now can we? My pastry was pre rolled, but the block variety may be better for this so you can roll it to the same shape as your pan.
Start with the correct sort of pan for your pie. Mine was 28cm in diameter and it being oven safe is imperative as a melted plastic handle will not improve your pie in any way. Oh and pre heat your oven to 180 degrees fan assisted. Heat your pan over a medium high heat and add two tablespoons of olive oil. Cut your chosen chicken into bite sized pieces, season with salt and pepper then add to the hot pan.
Cook the chicken until just starting to brown and barely cooked through, then remove to a plate.
Turn the heat down and add the 25g butter. Tip in the finely sliced leeks, season with a little salt and pepper then cook for around ten minutes or until softened and just starting to colour.
Stir in the 3 tablespoons of flour and cook out for a minute. Then gradually stir in the chicken stock and simmer for a couple of minutes until it’s thickened up nicely.
Next, pour in the cream for richness and total comfort.
Add your cooked chicken back into the pan with any juices and stir well. Bring it all back up to the simmer then turn out the heat. Taste to see if it needs any salt and pepper.
Bear in mind mine is saucier than yours will be so don’t panic.
Now, roll out your pastry into a circle the same size as your pan. Here’s where I have to confess to another minor kitchen disaster. My pastry stuck to the paper *I was fannying around taking photos* so I had to re-roll it which made it shrink when I cooked it, so again, your pie will look so much better than mine. Roll the pastry over your rolling pin and unroll it over your pie filling.
Create a hole in the centre of the pie to allow the steam to escape. If you’ve got an old bit of rosemary in your dwindling winter herb bed, then stick it into the middle for decoration and flavour. Or you could use an old school pie bird. Use any spare pastry to decorate the top of your pie.
Brush the top of your pie with beaten egg to glaze then put into your hot oven for around 30 minutes.
Your pie’s ready when the pastry is golden and crisp and the filling is bubbling and the whole business is smelling divine.
Your simple but quick and beyond tasty pie is now ready for some sweet potato mash and some greens. Or just a knife and fork.
This recipe brings pie into the midweek spotlight with its simple, kerfuffle free nature. It’s also one to keep in mind for your festive leftovers with Christmas hurtling towards us at an alarming pace. But for now, let’s just remember it’s only mid November.
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Chicken and Leek Pan Pie
You will just need a large 28cm ovenproof frying pan
2 tablespoons olive oil
600g boneless chicken, thighs or breast, or you could use cooked chicken or turkey
3 leeks, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons plain flour
400ml chicken stock
200ml double cream
Salt and pepper
Pre rolled sheet puff pasty, or a 500g block
1 beaten egg to glaze
Sprig rosemary, optional
Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees fan assisted.
Heat your pan over a medium high flame with the two tablespoons olive oil. Cut your chicken into bite sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Add to the hot pan and cook until just coloured and barely cooked through. Remove to a plate and turn the heat down in the pan.
Add the 25g butter and melt. Add the sliced leeks, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes until softened and just turning golden. Stir through the 3 tablespoons of flour and cook out for a minute. Whisk in the stock and bring up to the simmer to thicken. Pour in the cream then add the chicken back to the pan, with any juices, season with salt and pepper then turn off the heat.
Roll or cut your pastry into a circle the same size as the pan and lay over the chicken pie filling. Cut a small slit into the middle of the pie and poke in a small sprig of rosemary to allow the steam to escape, or use a pie bird. Glaze the top of the pie with beaten egg then place the whole pan into the oven and cook for around 30 minutes. The pastry should be golden and crisp and the filling bubbling.
Serve in steaming hot portions with mash and a green side of some nature.
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