Chicken & leek pie

Chicken & leek pie

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(44 ratings)

Ready in under 3 hours, plus chilling

More effort

Serves 6
This has to be the best comfort food yet and it's perfect for entertaining

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal762
  • fat49g
  • saturates24g
  • carbs27g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre2g
  • protein55g
  • salt2.78g
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Ingredients

  • 1½ kg whole corn-fed chicken
    Turkey

    Turkey

    terk-ee

    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

  • ½ tsp peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-4 thyme sprigs

    Thyme

    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 1 onion, halved
    Onion

    Onion

    un-yun

    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 celery stick
    Celery

    Celery

    sell-er-ee

    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 large or medium eggs
    Eggs

    Egg

    egg

    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 25g butter
    Butter

    Butter

    butt-err

    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 6 bacon rashers, cut into large pieces
    Bacon

    Bacon

    bay-kon

    Bacon is pork that has been cured one of two ways: dry or wet. It can be bought as both rashers…

  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
    Leeks

    Leek

    lee-k

    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard
    Mustard

    Mustard

    muss-tard

    A condiment made by mixing the ground seeds of the mustard plant with a combination of…

  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
    Parsley

    Parsley

    par-slee

    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 250g bought puff pastry or home-made rough puff
  • beaten egg, for glazing
    Eggs

    Egg

    egg

    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

Method

  1. Put the chicken into a deep pan that is just large enough to hold it quite snugly. Pour in enough water to half cover the bird, then tip in the peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme, onion and celery. Add the salt and bring to the boil on the hob, then reduce the heat, cover tightly and simmer for 1-11⁄4 hours until tender.

  2. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Strain 425ml/3⁄4 pint of the stock into a measuring jug (top up with water if you need to). Strip the meat off the chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces and put in a 1.7 litre/3 pint pie dish.

  3. Put the eggs in boiling water and boil for 6 minutes. Drain, cool them under cold water and remove the shells. Quarter the eggs and nestle them in the pie dish among the chicken pieces.

  4. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan and fry the bacon until crisp. Add the leeks and cook for 2 minutes until softened. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the chicken stock a third at a time, stirring continuously and making sure the sauce is thick and smooth before adding the next batch. Stir in the mustard, crème fraîche and parsley, then add a squeeze of lemon juice and black pepper to taste. Add salt if needed. Spoon over the chicken and leave to cool.

  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7/fan 200C. Reserve a quarter of the pastry for decoration and roll out the remainder to a shape about 5cm/2in larger than the top of the pie dish, then cut a 2.5cm/1in strip from all round the edge. Brush the edge of the dish with water and stick the pastry strip to it. Brush the strip with water. Flip the pastry lid over the rolling pin, lift it up and unroll over the pie. Press the edge on to the pastry strip to seal, and trim any excess with a sharp knife.

  6. Tap the blade of a small sharp knife all along the outside edge of the pastry (this helps the edge to rise during cooking), then flute it using the back of the knife. Make a hole in the lid centre with the tip of the knife, to allow steam to escape as the pie bakes.

  7. Roll out the pastry you put aside earlier. Cut 8 long strips each about 1cm/1⁄2in wide, and two more strips each about 4cm/11⁄2in wide. Cut the wider strips diagonally to make eight diamond leaf shapes. Mark the veins of the leaves with the tip of a sharp knife. Brush the pastry lid with beaten egg, then lay the 8 thin strips on top, as in the picture. Brush again with egg and arrange the leaves in the centre, between the strips. Brush with egg.

  8. Chill the pie for 15 mins, if you have time, to set the pastry. (Can be made a day ahead up to this point. Keep chilled and add 4-5 extra minutes at baking time.) Bake for 30 - 35 miutes until the pastry is crisp, puffed up and deep golden brown.)

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Comments, questions and tips

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redbushtea
11th Feb, 2011
5.05
Delicious and so easy to do! We're going to have it again next week.
sotasty
31st Jan, 2011
5.05
I have made this pie quite a few times now. I now leave out the eggs because I don't feel they work. Using a whole chicken gives a really delicious rich stock so I would't take any shortcuts. All you do is put the chicken, etc in a big pot and leave to simmer.
merulapie
7th Dec, 2010
4.05
Very tasty. I left out the eggs and used chicken breasts. Will definitely be making it again!
mummywood
15th Oct, 2010
5.05
The best pie we have ever had!! I used 4 chicken leg portions and cooked them in the slow cooker then stripped the meat off the bone made up the pie and left it in the fridge overnight and just popped it in the oven the following day a hit with everyone!!
kidzcupboard
2nd Nov, 2009
5.05
Made this recipe for a family gathering and it was a huge hit, it sounds a bit weird with the eggs i know, but they really do make it, this is comfort food through and through, the flavours are amazing!!!
amarkwell
1st Nov, 2009
5.05
This has become a firm favourite. I don't use eggs and tend to use the left overs from a roast chicken. Depending on what's in the fridge I sometimes substitute cream or marscapone for the creme fraiche. It freezes well so I often freeze it individual portions and then top individual pie dishes with the puff pastry lids. Yum!
madashatters
30th Aug, 2009
easy, delicious and moreish. enjoyed by all and a definate one to be repeated
kerryburnett
2nd May, 2009
5.05
I love making pies and this is the best recipe I've found. It's so tasty and pretty simple to make. I left out the eggs though, I just didn't fancy them in the recipe. Also good to use in smaller, individual pie dishes for dinner parties.
ms_devilangel
15th Apr, 2009
5.05
delicious and so easy to make! my boyfriend couldn't get enough of it and we have to stop ourselves from finishing everything in 1 sitting!
bibster
17th Mar, 2009
Looking forward to making this recipe but like the last person, Im really not sure about the eggs. Wanted to ask those that did include the eggs, did it make the pie, or would you leave them out? For children, I wonder if this might put them off?

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