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Saturday, December 3, 2011

You want some of my pie!?

With winter well on the way here in NE Ohio I thought it was time to bust out a winter recipe. So last night we had Chicken and Leek Pie.

I can't really remember where I got this recipe from, but it's one that I know by heart.

Here's the skinny.

1kg (2lbs) boneless skinless chicken thighs
3 leek
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 can cream of chicken soup
olive oil
1 egg, well beaten for egg wash
shortcrust pastry
flaky pastry

Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks

Thinly slice the leeks, including most of the green tops. Then rinse well in a colander to get all the dirt out.

In a large frying pan over medium/high heat, cook the chicken in a splash of olive oil until brown and set aside. Cook the chicken in batches, so the pan doesn't get overcrowded.

Next, saute the leeks and garlic in another splash of olice oil. You want the leeks soft, but not browned.

After the leeks are done, drain off any moisture from the chicken and add to the fry pan, then stir to combine. Add the 2 cans of cream of chicken soup and mix, on a low heat, until thoroughly combined. Then set aside until it cools to room temperature.

Next is the pastry. I use a short crust pastry for the bottom and the pastry from the sausage rolls for the top. Both of these can be made in the food processor and it's a lot cheaper than buying puff pastry.

Shortcrust Pastry

2 cups plain flour
4oz (125g) frozen butter, diced
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tbsp cold water
squeeze of lemon juice

Place flour, butter and salt in the food processor. Process, using pulse, until butter is cut into the flour and the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs.

Mix eggs, water and lemon juice.

With food processor running, pour liquid quickly through feed tube. Do use it all unless it’s necessary – stop pouring as soon as a ball of dough forms around the blade.

Wrap dough in alfoil and chill for 1 hour before using.

Flaky Pastry

2 cups all purpose flour (plain flour) plus extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
½ tsp mustard powder
½ cup butter, diced
6 tbsp ice water

Sift the flour into the bowl of a food processor with the salt and mustard powder.

Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

With the processor running at the slowest speed, add water, a bit at a time, until a dough ball forms. Do not add too much or the dough will be sticky. You want the dough soft.

Form into a ball, wrap in foil and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Both of the pastry recipes will make enough for 2 pies, I don't know how well the pastry freezes, so what you do with it is up to you.

When you are ready, pre-heat your oven to 400F (200C).

Roll out the shortcrust pastry making sure you dust your surface with flour to prevent it from sticking.

Lay the pastry into your pie dish and trim off the excess. I used a glass pie dish, but I would recommend a metal one so that the bottom of the crust browns better.

Prick the pie crust with a fork all over the surface.

Add the pie filling to the pie making sure there are no gaps.

Roll out the flaky pastry, the same as the shortcrust pastry, coat the edges of the shortcrust pastry with some egg wash and lay the flaky pastry over the top.

Trim the edges, press to seal, cut some steam vents in the top and brush with the egg wash.

Bung it in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the top is nicely browned.

I must admit, I didn't use egg wash around the edge of the pie and the crust lifted.

Let the pie rest for about 5 minutes and then dig in!

The hardest part of this is making the filling before hand, other than that, it's probably the easiest savoury pie you'll ever make.

As always,



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