Chicken & leek pie

Chicken & leek pie

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(47 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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  • 1½ kg whole corn-fed chicken



    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


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

  • 1 onion, halved



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

  • 1 celery stick



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

  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 large or medium eggs



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

  • 25g butter



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

  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced



    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



    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



    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



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


  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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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?
16th Feb, 2009
Yum, I love this pie! I made it when a friend came for dinner, and she was very impressed and asked for seconds. I don't normally roast a chicken - I'll normally boil a whole chicken instead, so this would be a good way for me to use up any leftover chicken and also the stock. i boiled the chicken the night before, so it wasn't too time consuming on the day. I'm sure it would work just as well with left over roast chicken though. Also, i missed out the eggs, because I didn't really feel it needed boiled eggs in it!
12th Feb, 2009
Delicious and great to make in advance for guests. It doesn't actually require that much attention or effort if you use shop-bought puff pastry, as most of the cooking time stated is for the pie in the oven or cooking the chicken on the hob. Would definitely make again, though not for an everyday family meal.
21st Nov, 2008
pretty yummy actually. I wasn't sure about the eggs in it but it was delicious. I added some white wine into the sauce which worked well
21st Jul, 2008
This went down a storm particularly with my fussy 75-year-old uncle! I must admit it was a quite time consuming and definately one for special occasions only. I used two chicken breasts and 4 chicken thighs instead of the whole chicken. If I was to make this for the family again and to cut down time I would just use cooked chicken, miss out the eggs and use mash potatoes as a topping.
4th Jun, 2008
Does anyone think it would be possible to cook the pie filling (minus the eggs), freeze it up in separate batches, and then also freeze the pie lids (uncooked) and then defrost it all, put it together, and then whack it in the oven until pastry lid is cooked? Me and the bf will never manage a whole chicken, but it is so much cheaper than using individual breasts. I might just try it and see :)
24th Apr, 2008
I was expecting great things from this pie because of previous comments, but must admit that I was disappointed. I used chicken breasts rather than a cooked chicken, so whether this made a difference I don't know. I found it very fiddly to make - not the thing to try when you are in a hurry. My guests enjoyed it, as did my family, so I will try it again and see how it goes!
10th Apr, 2008
Superb and very easy - I used boneless chicken thighs
14th Feb, 2008
WOW a really tasty pie. I made it with four chicken breasts as I did not have a whole chicken. I cooked it when my daughter and grandson came for a visit, and my daughter took my copy of the recipe home with her so I have to print it again as I will be making this quite often.
11th Feb, 2008
This is a wonderful dish which is always eaten in full! I love using a whole chicken rather than just breasts as you get all the different textures of the meat. Quite often I use pancetta rather than bacon and a gutsy smooth mustard rather than whole grain - just a slight twist. Cook it - well worth the time


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