Geez my photography is getting worse. Sorry about that. I made this initially from Jamie Oliver’s 2008 Christmas special (made in that case with leftover turkey), and was surprised I didn’t blog it at the time. So here’s the repeat.
After a wonderful roast chicken for Sunday lunch, there were ample leftovers for this tasty pie. Fry chopped leeks in a lidded pan for about 20 minutes until soft and sweet, then season adding thyme leaves to the pot. Immediately its woody aroma bursts out of the pan and makes me think of really English food. Then leftover meat goes in to warm up, some cornflour and chicken stock. Then plenty of creme fraiche to make it thick and creamy.
Now the genius bit: sieve the whole mixture off, so you’re left with a sticky meat mix in one pot and a gloopy pale liquor in a jug. The meat goes back into a dish and is topped with pastry for a pie, and the sauce becomes a savoury gravy to serve with it. Amazingly good, honest food. Nice one, Jamie!
Chicken and sweet leek pie (serves 6):
2 rashers smoked streaky bacon, the best quality you can afford, roughly chopped
½ bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked
2kg leeks, finely sliced
800g cooked chicken
2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
2 pints chicken stock
2 tablespoons of crème fraîche
1 x 500g packet puff pastry
1 pack of cooked chestnuts
2 sprigs fresh sage, leaves picked
1 egg, beaten
Preheat your oven to 190°C.
- Put your bacon in a large pan on a medium heat and add the thyme. Add a lug of olive oil and the butter and let it all fry off a few minutes. Add the leeks and fry them off for about 3 minutes so they are well-coated in the butter. Season and cook gently for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes to make sure they don’t catch.
- When your leeks are ready, add the chicken meat to them and stir. Add the flour, mix it in well then pour in your stock and stir again. Add the crème fraîche then turn the heat up and bring everything back up to the boil. Have a taste and add a bit more salt and pepper if it needs it then turn the heat off. Pour the mixture through a sieve over another large empty pan and let the wonderful gravy from the mixture drip into the pan while you roll out your pastry.
- Get a deep baking dish roughly 22 x 30cm. Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with a bit of flour and roll your pastry out so it’s about double the size of your dish. Crumble the chestnuts over one half of the pastry then tear a few of the sage leaves over the chestnuts. Fold the other half of pastry on top then roll it out carefully and evenly so you have a rectangle big enough to cover your baking tray. Don’t worry if a few bits stick out here and there.
- Spoon that thick leek mixture from your sieve into the pie dish and spread it out evenly. Lay your pastry on top, tuck the ends under then gently score the pastry diagonally with your knife. Add a pinch of salt to your beaten egg then paint this egg wash over the top of your pastry. Pop your pie in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown.