Dreamy Chicken and Leek Pie
Blog and recipe from the lovely Jenn Allan, UNE Life, Functions & Catering
Spring has well and truly sprung, and it’s my favourite time of the year in Armidale. The garden is beginning to bud back into life, but the mornings are still fresh and the nights are chilly enough to rug up with something hearty for dinner. It’s also the best time to get cracking in the kitchen and use up the last of the late winter harvest.
This is what I like to call a “low effort, high reward” recipe. It’s one of those dishes that just comes together so beautifully with very little hands-on time. This is loosely based on my mum’s recipe, but I’ve made the thick, deliciously creamy chicken sauce my own with the addition of mascarpone and English mustard. Sometimes I whip up the filling and throw it in the freezer, and then when the craving hits for something indulgent I can just pour the filling into a baking dish and slap some butter puff pastry on top! #Dreamy
SOME FUN FACTS…
- Pie-like dishes have been around longer than you’d think, some historians believe they could go as far back as ancient Egypt!
- Up until the 15th century the pastry wasn’t actually edible, it was more of a disposable casserole dish. Cooks would create ornate patterns with the pastry to impress their guests!
- Leeks are great for cardiovascular health; full of vitamins A, C and K to help protect your blood vessels.
Makes around: 6 serves
- 700g skinless boneless chicken thighs (you can use breasts if you like, but I find thighs so much juicier)!
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large leek, thinly sliced
- 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 100g white mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ½ cup of milk
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (possibly my favourite herb)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 4 tbsp mascarpone
- 1 tsp English mustard
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted
- 1 egg, beaten
To make the filling:
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks and season well with salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan and fry chicken until golden and cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the butter to the pan, then throw in the garlic, leeks, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and thyme. Scrape up any of those lovely browned bits at the bottom of the pan and sauté until the veg is softened and your kitchen smells wonderful.
- Stir in the flour and cook about 2 minutes
- Mix the stock with the milk and very gradually add to the pan. Continue to cook until the mixture thickens.
TIP: You want to go slowly here, making sure the flour has a chance to absorb the liquid and thicken up before adding more, otherwise your sauce will go lumpy.
- Remove from the heat and stir through the mascarpone and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the chicken.
Fill and cover:
- Preheat your oven to 200°C
- Spoon your filling into a 1L baking dish
- Take one sheet of pastry and cut into four strips, and brush both sides with a little beaten egg. Press these strips around the rim of your baking dish.
- Place the second sheet of pastry over the top of the dish and press the edges to seal, trimming any excess. Don’t worry if it droops into the dish, it will still puff up gorgeously (if you like, you could use any excess pastry to decorate your pie!)
- Brush the lid with beaten egg and cut a couple of small slits in the centre of the lid (this will stop your lid bursting off in the oven)
- Bake @ 200°C for 30 minutes, until the crust, is golden brown and flaky. It could take a little more or less depending on your oven, just keep an eye on it.
Serve straight out of the dish with a side of steamed greens and some fluffy mashed potatoes to soak up the sauce!
Here’s a few snaps from my kitchen to yours:
We want to see what your dinner looks like, tag us @lifefunctionscatering and we will share them in our stories!
PS: If you’re in Armidale, don’t forget to drop into The Shop, we’ve just launched a little range of delectable pickles, relishes, and jams!