Chicken pie has been on my must-cook list for quite a long time now, but by the time I’ve suddenly thought “oh I should make that” I’m missing a vital ingredient… you can’t very well make a chicken pie without the chicken… or veg… or pastry… or most importantly, a little time on your hands!
So I planned ahead, bought in some English chicken and chestnut mushrooms, and hey presto – we’ve got a pie on the go.
Of course since this was my first shot, I wanted a trusted recipe to base this on, so I picked good ol’ Mary Berry. I looked it over and thought, yep this one’s easy enough. And it definitely was.
In a nut shell, you fry the leek, add the sauce ingredients, add the mushrooms, add the seasoning, add the chicken, add this to the dish, make the pastry, place that on the top and you have it! (it kinda sounds long now, but seriously it takes around 35 mins prep wise – maybe 40 if you’re doing it for the first time and going a little slow!)
Since this recipe uses cooked chicken, it’s so quick in the oven, and if you’ve got any leftover chicken from a roast this is the perfect way to put it to use.
I tweeked some of the ingredients, amounts and order of things as I went along just to suit my tastes (as you may do to), but other than that this is a brilliantly classic British dish, great for a Sunday afternoon. I looooove the combination of cheesy creamy sauce against puff pastry
Next on my list is to add bacon, make more of a wine based sauce, and use turkey to give it a twist – watch out!
Chicken, Mushroom and Leek Pie (serves 4)
1 large leek, trimmed and sliced
50g plain flour
300ml chicken stock
1 tsp English mustard
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil (Mary uses tarragon)
200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
sea salt and black pepper
400g cooked chicken, sliced
50g mature cheddar cheese, grated
500g puff pastry *recipe at the bottom*
1 egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
- Melt the butter in a pan and add the leek, frying over a low heat for around 10 minutes
- Mix the flour with a little of the milk in a small bowl to create a smooth paste
- When the leeks are soft, turn up the heat and add the stock. Now add the paste along with the remaining milk (be careful not to burn the thickening paste)
- Bring to the boil, stirring all the time, until the sauce is thickened and smooth
- Add the mustard and basil. Stir in the mushrooms and simmer for around 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and then add the cooked chicken with a splash of white wine
- Remove from the heat and add the cheese. Pour the mixture into your cooking dish (make sure this is not too deep as you don’t want the pastry to sink) and set aside to cool
- Meanwhile make the pastry top (or to save time either buy a pre-made roll or make this earlier on in the day). On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out until it is slightly larger than the dish
- Cut 4 strips for the lip of the dish. Brush the lip with water and lay these strips across; brush the top of the strips with water and finally place the main pastry cover over, pressing down to seal the edges
- Brush the pastry with egg and cut any remaining pastry into leaf shapes. Create a small steam hole in the centre of the pie and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes
How to make puff pastry:
250g strong white flour
1 tsp sea salt
- Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Roughly break the butter in small chunks, add them to the bowl and rub them in very loosely
- Make a well in the bowl and pour in about two-thirds of the cold water, mixing until you have a firm rough dough adding extra water if needed. Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 20 mins in the fridge
- Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently and form into a smooth rectangle. Roll the dough in one direction only, until 3 times the width. Keep edges straight and even. Don’t overwork the butter streaks; you should have a marbled effect
- Fold the top third down to the centre, then the bottom third up and over that. Give the dough a quarter turn (to the left or right) and roll out again to three times the length
- Fold as before, cover with cling film and chill for at least 20 mins before rolling to use