Recipe: Chicken Ham & Leek Pie by Sue Stoneman


Note from the editor: Sue wrote this excellent recipe for British Pie Week but due to things and other things, I didn’t publish it.  This is a really simple recipe for a basic pie that you can use for a tasty filling or even left-overs – anything really, and given it’s getting to the end of the month, what a great idea for making the most of stuff that might else get thrown away! – CG

We all love a pie, whether it’s homemade or shop bought.  There are some pretty tasty ones available locally here in Devon and we all have our favourite.  I like making my own as it’s a great way to use up leftovers from a roast dinner.

We call it ‘Leftover Pie’ in our family and it packs all the flavours of a Sunday roast!  You can buy ready made pastry if you are not keen on making your own.  Short crust or puff pastry work well or even filo for that extra thin & crispy top.  You can please yourself, if you like, a pie with a bottom and a top, or just a top.

Here’s the recipe for one of my favourite pies.

pie picServes 4

What you need:

Short Crust Pastry

350g Plain Flour
200g unsalted butter
Pinch salt
One egg plus a few tablespoons cold water

Pie filling

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3 chicken breasts (skin off & cut into pieces)
150g cooked ham cut into chunks
35g unsalted butter
2 leeks – washed and cut into slices
2 cloves garlic crushed
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp plain flour
100ml milk
100ml white wine
Chicken stock cube or stock pot
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
Few sprigs thyme
Beaten egg to glaze

Start by making the pastry, wrap and chill in the fridge until ready to use.

In a pan, put in a knob of butter and fry the chicken pieces, add some salt & pepper. Continue to fry until just coloured and add in the leeks, followed by the garlic. Cook for a further five minutes.

Sprinkle over the flour and stir. Gradually add in the 100ml wine and milk and stir. Cook for another five minutes to cook out the flour and thicken the sauce. Add in the chopped ham, mustard, few sprigs of thyme and the stock pot or sprinkle in a stock cube. You might need to add a little more liquid, but you don’t want the sauce too runny or you may end up with a soggy bottom! Leave to cool.

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Roll out the pastry and put into a greased pie dish. I use a 23cm diameter pie dish. Cut off the excess pastry. Roll out the remainder of the pastry for the pie lid.

Carefully pour in the pie filling into the dish and level the top. Brush the edge with beaten egg and lay the remainder of the pastry on top. Cut off the excess and press the edges together.

Crimp using your fingers or the end of a fork. Use the leftover pieces of pastry to make a pattern on the top if you like. Brush with beaten egg and make a hole in the middle to let out the steam.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the pie is lovely and golden in colour.
Serve with a generous dollop of creamy mash and seasonal vegetables.

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Variations: You could use chorizo or bacon with the chicken for a different flavour and substitute onions for leeks. You could also use the leftover chicken or gammon from your roast dinner and throw in any veg and gravy. If you are using beef, use a beef stock cube and red wine. You can of course just keep your pie veggie and use a selection of your favourite vegetables.

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