Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Chicken and Leek Pie, with a Suet Crust

I just love Chicken and Leek Pie, so I thought I would make one, and see how it turned out.  But I decided to be slightly different, and use suet in the pastry top, rather than the more commonly used puff pastry.  

For the filling I used, as well as the chicken and leeks, some smoked lardons, which give a nice flavour to the creamy sauce.  The addition of some mixed herbs also adds another layer of flavour.  A taste of the mixture, before putting it into the pie tin, to check for seasoning, confirmed that it had a super flavour.

So, an easy to follow recipe is given below.  Remember, if you decide to try this out, you can use puff pastry, following the cooking times for that.  You can also vary the herbs, maybe fresh rosemary, or whatever you prefer.
Chicken and Leek Pie
Chicken and Leek Pie - inside
Ingredients:
for the pastry:

  • 250 grams plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125 grams suet
  • a pinch of salt
  • 150 ml cold water
  • beaten egg, for brushing over the top

for the filling:

  • 550 grams chicken breast
  • 200 grams lardons(smoked or unsmoked)
  • 300 grams leeks, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons mixed herbs, or herbs of choice
  • 300 ml milk, semi-skimmed or full fat milk
  • 350 ml chicken stock
  • 30 grams butter
  • 50 gram plain flour 

Method:

  1. Cube the chicken into bite-sized pieces
  2. Gently fry the chicken, for about 6 minutes, until sealed and golden brown and set aside
  3. In a large saucepan melt the butter and gently sweat the leeks for 3 minutes
  4. Add the minced garlic and the lardons to the saucepan and allow to cook for 2 minutes, stirring from time to time
  5. Add the 50grams of plain flour, stirring continuously for one minute, allowing it to coat the other indgredients
  6. Add the milk, gradually, stirring all the while, until all the milk seems to be well mixed in.
  7. Add the chicken stock and mixed herbs.  Keep stirring until the mixture thickens.
  8. Simmer for 5 minutes, tasting and adding salt and pepper as needed.
  9. Set aside to cool.
  10. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/gas mark 4
  11. In a bowl mix together, with a knife, using cutting motions, the flour, baking powder, suet and salt
  12. Add the water and continue mixing, with the knife. 
  13. Then use a hand to bring the mixture together, into a ball
  14. Refrigerate the pastry dough for 30 minutes
  15. Transfer the chicken mixture to the pie tin
  16. Brush the edges of the tin with egg
  17. Roll out the pastry dough to the size large enough to cover the tin
  18. It should be rolled to about half and inch in thickness
  19. place it over the pie tin, pressing down on the edges 
  20. brush the beaten egg over the top of the pastry
  21. make a hole in the centre, to allow some steam to be able to escape
  22. place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes
  23. Remove from the oven and serve with mashed potatoes and vegetables of choice

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