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Recipe

Chicken and leek pie with cheddar pastry

  • 35 mins preparation
  • 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
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Ingredients

Chicken and leek pie with cheddar pastry
  • 280 gram plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 180 gram butter, at room temperature, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup grated vintage cheddar cheese
  • 1 small free-range egg yolk beaten with 70ml chilled water
Filling
  • 1 medium leek
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and choppe
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 150 gram free-range shoulder bacon, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 750 gram skinned and boned chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into large chunks
  • 3 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 small free-range egg

Method

Chicken and leek pie with cheddar pastry
  • 1
    Put flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and drop in the butter. Process briefly, until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Add the cheese and process for a few seconds until it is evenly distributed. With the machine running, pour in the mixed egg yolk and water and process until it forms a ragged looking dough in large clumps. Turn dough onto a clean, lightly floured board and knead together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes – but no longer or dough will harden and be difficult to roll out.
  • 2
    On a floured surface, roll dough into a large round big enough to generously cover a 24cm dish. Chill again. Preheat oven to 180°C fanbake.
  • 3
    For the filling, trim leek, discard outer leaf, wash, shake, then cut leek into rounds. Put leek, onion, carrot and garlic in a large frying pan with 1 Tbsp butter. Cook gently for 10 minutes. Add bay leaves and thyme and transfer to a large plate.
  • 4
    Increase heat under pan, add ½ Tbsp butter and, when sizzling, add the bacon. Cook until lightly browned, then transfer to vegetables on the plate. Wipe out pan and reheat to medium-high. Quickly toss chicken with flour. Add 1½ Tbsp butter to pan and when sizzling add chicken. Brown well on one side, turn, then pour in stock. Bring to a bubble, season with the salt and black pepper to taste. Return vegetables and bacon to pan. Swirl in crème fraîche.
  • 5
    Tip contents of pan into a 24cm deepish pie dish or shallow casserole. Cut a large wide strip of pastry and press this onto the dampened edge of the pie dish (it doesn’t matter if it is joined in several places). Dampen the top of the pastry strip, then put the rolled-out pastry on top and press onto strip of pastry. Trim off excess, then roughly crimp the edges. Make a hole in the middle of the pastry with a skewer to let steam escape.
  • 6
    Break egg into a small dish, discarding half the white. Beat lightly with a fork, then brush onto pastry. Put pie in oven with a baking sheet underneath dish in case of spillages. Cook for 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden. Serve hot.
  • 7
    TipAdding cheddar cheese to pastry gives it a nice bite and keeps it light and flaky. Choose a dry aged cheddar – cheap, fatty cheese will be disappointing.

Notes

Adding cheddar cheese to pastry gives it a nice bite and keeps it light and flaky. Choose a dry aged cheddar – cheap, fatty cheese will be disappointing.

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