I love a good pie. Homemade, of course. There are some days, where a pie is just perfect for supper. In a bid to try and be healthy, I often don’t eat enough for lunch, so come early evening I’m absolutely starving, and a pie makes a great comforting, filling supper. Pies can be really easy to make, even on a busy week day – they really don’t take long to prepare.
I’m rather particular about what goes into a pie. I like to roast a free-range chicken and use roasted chicken inside. I often use a mix of chicken breast and chicken leg, which stays beautifully moist and tender. Having made pies using chicken breasts, it’s just not the same. When it comes to steak pies, I cannot abide kidney, I’m afraid, so it’s steak and mushroom or steak and ale pie for me.
Here is one of my very favourite combinations, a classic chicken, bacon and leek pie. I sometimes use shortcrust pastry, which I make myself, and sometimes I use puff, which I buy. Dorset pastry make the best all-butter puff pastry, I reckon.
As pastry is quite naughty for an every day meal, I like to serve this with plenty of fresh vegetables, no mash or potatoes.
Chicken, bacon and leek pie
Serves 4 hungry adults
- 30g butter
- 2 leeks, sliced into ½ inch discs
- ½ white onion
- 6 rashers of thick, smoked back bacon, cut into 1cm thick strips
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 300ml chicken stock
- 400g roasted chicken, torn into chunks
- 1bay leaf
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1x 375g pack of ready-rolled puff pastry
- 1 medium free range egg, beaten, for glazing
1) Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2) Gently soften the leeks and onion in the butter. Do not allow them to colour
3) After around 10 minutes, add the bacon and cook through
4) Now the flour and cook through for two minutes before adding the stock. Stir constantly to make a thick sauce. Add the bay leaf and thyme
5) Pour the filling into the bottom of a pie dish (I just use a large Le Creuset dish)
6) Lay the pastry sheet over the top of the pie filling. I like to use my rather sweet blackbird, and cut a cross in the centre of the pastry to fit it in.
7) Brush the pie with a beaten egg. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes.
8) Serve immediately with seasonal green vegetables, such as purple sprouting broccoli or cavolo nero.