There just might be nothing better than a piping hot pie, straight from the oven, on a crisp and cool day. This delicious creamy chicken and leek pie with flaky puff pastry is sophisticated enough to serve when guests come around for lunch, but just as good for a comforting family dinner on a cold night.
Preparation time: 1hr 45 minutes
1 x 375g packet puff pastry
750g chicken thighs, chopped
2 leeks, washed and sliced into 1cm slices
3 rashers of streaky bacon, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 tbsp plain flour
3 tsp Dijon mustard
Pepper and salt to season
1 egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Melt half the butter and brush it around a 30cm pie dish to grease. Lie sheets of puff pastry in the dish to completely cover the base, brushing water along the edge of any sheets you need to join. Press the pastry into the dish overlapping the sides and cut off excess. Prick the pastry base with a fork every 2-3cm, then rest it in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Remove pie dish from fridge and place a sheet of baking paper over the pastry. Top the paper with pie weights or dried beans or rice. Cook for 10 minutes before carefully removing the paper and weights, then bake for a further 10 minutes, before removing from the oven. If the pastry has puffed up during cooking, use a clean tea towel to pat it down. Set aside to cool.
- Heat oil and remaining butter in a frying pan. Add the diced chicken and cook for 5 minutes. stirring, until it starts to brown. Add the bacon and leek and cook for a further 5 minutes until the leeks start to soften.
- Stir flour evenly into the pan then add the cream, stock and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes until sauce thickens then remove from heat and stir in the Dijon mustard and pepper and salt to taste. Increase oven temperature to 220C.
- Fill the pie crust with the chicken mixture then lightly brush the edge of the pastry base with cold water. Lay another sheet of puff pastry on top (or join two together with water if needed), pressing gently around the edges of the dish. Score the centre of the pastry topping with a cross, to let out steam while cooking. Brush the top with beaten egg, to glaze.
- Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 190C and bake for another 20 minutes until golden all over.
- Serve with steamed vegetables.