Chicken and Leek Pie

This crisp golden pastry-topped pie with a filling of chicken and leeks makes a tasty lunch or supper dish. When cold, a piece of it is ideal for a packed lunch.

1 x 5 lb. chicken

2 medium-sized onions, halved 2 celery stalks, quartered

bouquet garni, consisting of 4 parsley sprigs, 1 thyme spray and 1 bay leaf tied together 2-0 teaspoons salt

4 pints water 2 lb. leeks, including 2 inches of the green stems, thoroughly washed and cut into inch slices

1 teaspoon sugar

4 oz. cooked ham, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

4 tablespoons double cream

6 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

5 oz. butter, cut into walnut-sized pieces

3-4 tablespoons iced water 1 egg, lightly beaten

Place the chicken, onions, celery, bouquet garni and 2 teaspoons of salt in a large saucepan. Pour over the water. The

chicken should be completely covered with water, so add more if necessary.

Place the pan over high heat and bring the water to the boil. With a metal spoon, Chicken and Leek Pie, topped with crisp, golden pastry, makes a tasty lunch or supper dish for the family.

skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to low, partly cover the pan, with the lid on a slant, and simmer for 1 to 12 hours, or until the chicken is tender.

Meanwhile, prepare the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the butter and the iced water.

With a knife, mix quickly to a firm dough which should be lumpy.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into an oblong shape. Fold it in three and turn it so that the open edges

face you. Roll out again into an oblong shape and proceed as before. Repeat this once again to make three turns in all.

Wrap the dough in greaseproof or waxed paper and put it in the refrigerator to chill.

Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the chicken to a wooden board or platter. Strain the stock into a measuring jug.

Discard the vegetables and flavourings. Return 16 fluid ounces of the stock to the saucepan and add the leeks. Place the pan over high heat. Bring the stock to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pan and simmer the leeks for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are tender.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400 °F (Gas Mark 6, 200 °C).

With a small, sharp knife, detach the chicken meat from the skin and bones. Discard the skin and bones. Cut the meat into

bite-sized pieces and put them in a deep pie dish spreading them out over the base of the dish. Pour the leeks and stock into the dish. Sprinkle the sugar and remaining salt over the leeks and chicken.

Arrange the slices of ham in a layer over the leeks, leaving a small gap in the middle. Sprinkle the ham with the parsley.

Set the dish aside.

Remove the dough from the refriger-ator. If it looks streaky, roll it out into an oblong shape and fold it in three once

again. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1-inch larger than the top of the pie dish. With a knife cut a -g-inch

strip around the pastry. Dampen the rim of the dish with water and press the pastry strips on top of the rim. With a pastry brush dipped in water, lightly moisten the strips.

Using the rolling pin, lift the dough on to the dish. With a knife, trim the dough and, with your fingers, crimp the edges

to

seal them to the strips already in the dish. With a sharp knife, cut a fairly large cross in the middle of the pastry.

With a pastry brush, coat the surface of the pastry with beaten egg.

Roll out the trimmings and use to make a decoration for the top of the pie.

Place the pie in the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven.

In a small saucepan, heat the cream over low heat. Open up the cross in the pastry and pour in the warmed cream.

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