Learn . Laugh . Eat

Jess' Recipe Adventures: Chicken, Ham and Leek Pie

Prep:

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Just when it felt like there might be a hint of spring in the air the cold weather's back with a vengeance this week. But if there's one good thing about plummeting temperatures it's the fact that it gives you a green card to gorge yourself on classic winter-warmer dishes like this creamy chicken and ham pie. If you need any further cajoling, this week is also official BRITISH PIE WEEK!

Ingredients (serves 4):

Puff pastry (enough to cover the dish) 2 chicken breasts 4-6 slices of ham or bacon 1 large leek Half a cup of plain flour 1 cup of milk 1 cup of chicken stock 3 tablespoons of butter 1 egg

Just when it felt like there might be a hint of spring in the air the cold weather's back with a vengeance this week. But if there's one good thing about plummeting temperatures it's the fact that it gives you a green card to gorge yourself on classic winter-warmer dishes like this creamy chicken and ham pie. If you need any further cajoling, this week is also official BRITISH PIE WEEK!

This particular recipe, which I stumbled upon online, is enhanced by the subtle and sweet flavours of fresh leeks. Now in season, leeks are an excellent source of vitamic C, iron and fibre. Which practically counteracts the considerable calorie content, surely...

Whack the chicken in a frying pan with a tablespoon of butter and start to brown gently. Add the finely sliced leek and the ham (we recommend using a good ham hock for extra flavour) and heat until the chicken is just cooked. In the meantime, pop some puff pastry (I cheated and used pre-made - the people on Come Dine With Me reckon there's no shame in it and they're my moral compass here) into the bottom of a cooking dish and spoon the chicken mixture on top.

To make the sauce, heat a couple of tablespoons of butter in a pan and add some of the flour, mixing it into a playdoh-like consistency (or in cooking terms a rue). I needed to add quite a lot more butter than the recipe suggested, so be prepared to freestyle it a bit.

Next, pour in half of the milk and the whole cup of stock, stirring the rest of the flour in gradually - if you put in too much too soon, you'll end up with a lumpy mixture that you'll need to squidge through a sieve. And let's be honest, no one wants even MORE washing up. Once your sauce is looking about right, pour it over the chicken, ham and leeks. Cover your dish with the puff pastry, and coat with an egg. This will give your pie a delicious brown glaze once it's cooked.

Pop in the oven for 40 minutes at 180c, or until the ingredients start to bubble out of the sides.

Verdict: The sauce is the tricky bit, but try not to fret too much about the lumps (they'll get hidden amongst the chicken bits anyway..!)


Ingredients (serves 4):

Puff pastry (enough to cover the dish) 2 chicken breasts 4-6 slices of ham or bacon 1 large leek Half a cup of plain flour 1 cup of milk 1 cup of chicken stock 3 tablespoons of butter 1 egg


Just when it felt like there might be a hint of spring in the air the cold weather's back with a vengeance this week. But if there's one good thing about plummeting temperatures it's the fact that it gives you a green card to gorge yourself on classic winter-warmer dishes like this creamy chicken and ham pie. If you need any further cajoling, this week is also official BRITISH PIE WEEK!

This particular recipe, which I stumbled upon online, is enhanced by the subtle and sweet flavours of fresh leeks. Now in season, leeks are an excellent source of vitamic C, iron and fibre. Which practically counteracts the considerable calorie content, surely...

Whack the chicken in a frying pan with a tablespoon of butter and start to brown gently. Add the finely sliced leek and the ham (we recommend using a good ham hock for extra flavour) and heat until the chicken is just cooked. In the meantime, pop some puff pastry (I cheated and used pre-made - the people on Come Dine With Me reckon there's no shame in it and they're my moral compass here) into the bottom of a cooking dish and spoon the chicken mixture on top.

To make the sauce, heat a couple of tablespoons of butter in a pan and add some of the flour, mixing it into a playdoh-like consistency (or in cooking terms a rue). I needed to add quite a lot more butter than the recipe suggested, so be prepared to freestyle it a bit.

Next, pour in half of the milk and the whole cup of stock, stirring the rest of the flour in gradually - if you put in too much too soon, you'll end up with a lumpy mixture that you'll need to squidge through a sieve. And let's be honest, no one wants even MORE washing up. Once your sauce is looking about right, pour it over the chicken, ham and leeks. Cover your dish with the puff pastry, and coat with an egg. This will give your pie a delicious brown glaze once it's cooked.

Pop in the oven for 40 minutes at 180c, or until the ingredients start to bubble out of the sides.

Verdict: The sauce is the tricky bit, but try not to fret too much about the lumps (they'll get hidden amongst the chicken bits anyway..!)

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