Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Chicken and leek pie with accompaniments

After a week of working late shifts and pesto pasta for tea each night, I finally got around to some home-cooking on Monday.
On the recommendation of my friend Helen, I decided to go for a pie from the reliable Jamie Oliver’s 30-Minute Meals book.
This book is like a bible in our house at the moment; we cook something from it at least once a week. Although I refuse to believe the dishes can be done in 30 minutes.
But when I have time, I pick something I’ve not done before and usually end up adapting it slightly to suit my preferences.

With the summer seemingly at an end (I’m actually wrapped in my blanket as I write this), I opted for a heart-warming and traditional chicken pie, with minted peas and baby gem lettuce, and a carrot and sweet potato mash.
I swapped the mushrooms (which I like to refer to as the devil’s food) for leeks which I know work perfectly with this type of pie.

While I went to work, I sent Paul to the supermarket with a list of ingredients, and they're all pretty simple, most of which you’ll probably already have in the fridge.
I raced home from work and put on my kitchen scruffs, plugged in the Ipod and put on an album (Them Crooked Vultures to be precise).

Once it’s in the oven you can crack on with the accompaniments and wash up before it’s ready.
As with everything I make and eat, my perfectionism kicked in and I wasn’t 100 % happy as the sauce was slightly on the thin side and the pastry was slightly thick.
But it was tasty and satisfying, and as usual with Paul, it barley touched the sides. He liked it so I’m happy, and there was enough for leftovers tonight!


For the pie…

4 skinned chicken breasts
knob of butter
bunch of washed and sliced spring onions
150g washed and sliced leeks (Jamie’s  recipe uses the devil’s food)
1 heaped tbsp plain flour (make sure it’s heaped – I think that’s why my sauce was thin) plus extra for dusting
2 tsp English mustard
1 heaped tbsp crème fraíche
300ml organic chicken stock
few sprigs fresh thyme
1/3 of nutmeg, grated
1 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry
1 beaten egg

For the extras…

3 medium-sized, peeled and sliced sweet potatoes (not in Jamie’s recipe, but I love sweet potatoes so use them wherever I can)
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 baby gem lettuces, washed and sliced
I tbsp plain flour
300ml organic chicken stock
few sprigs fresh mint
450g frozen peas
½ lemon


Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Fill up the kettle, get out a pie dish and put a large wide pan on a medium heat.
Slice the chicken into chunks and fry in the pan, along with a splash of olive oil and butter, for about three minutes.
Add the spring onions and leeks with the flour and stir. Add the mustard, crème fraíche and stock and stir well. Pick the thyme leaves and add to the pan with the nutmeg and salt and pepper, then leave to simmer for around five minutes.
Transfer into the pie dish and roll out the pastry onto a surface lightly dusted with flour. Put the pastry (approx. 30x25cm) over the filling and tuck in the edges.
Lightly brush the pastry with the egg and stab a couple of holes in the pastry.
Put on the top shelf of the oven for around 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the sweet potatoes and carrots in a pan of salted boiling water, cover and simmer for around 15 minutes.
Return the empty chicken pan to the heat and add the butter and flour. Add the stock and a few mint leaves and whisk into a smooth sauce, then add the peas and sliced lettuce.
Squeeze over the lemon juice (beware of pips), add a splash of water and season, then put the lid on and leave to simmer for a few minutes.
When the peas are tender they are ready. When the carrots and potatoes are tender, drain and mash with a knob of butter, the thyme leaves, salt and pepper.
When the pastry is golden and crisp and the sauce is bubbling around the edges, it’s ready!


  1. Sounds yummy, we'll like this, must try it. Pies are perfect winter warmers and it seems to be on the way!

  2. Ahhhhhh I make this recipe for me and Mason all the time I also add mushrooms for extra goodness! It's so quick and easy although I always struggle with the pastry!!! So brill recipes here misses! ESP the morrocan lamb! xxx