Chicken and Leek Pie
Autumn is the time of year to dig out the casserole and pie dishes and this recipe for Chicken and Leek Pie from Salford Royal dietitian Sophie Brazier is a great example of the warm, comforting food we crave as the days grow shorter and colder.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 medium leeks, washed, trimmed and thickly sliced
4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 garlic clove, crushed
300ml chicken stock, hot- use reduced salt stock cubes
142ml carton double cream
Sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves picked and roughly chopped
375g pack ready-rolled puff pastry
1 medium egg
1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and leeks and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened.
2. Add the chicken pieces and cook, stirring, for another 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic. Pour in the stock and simmer until reduced by half. Add the cream and tarragon, bring to the boil, then simmer for 5-6 minutes until thickened. Season, then spoon into a 2.5-litre pie dish (or 4 x 300ml ovenproof dishes). Set aside to cool.
3. Brush a little water along the edge of the pie dish or dishes. Unroll the pastry and cut out a piece large enough to cover the dish or dishes. Press down the edges and trim off the excess. Snip a small hole in the centre of the pastry to let the steam escape. Put on a baking tray and chill for 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7.
5. Beat the egg with a little salt, then brush over the pastry. Bake for 40-45 minutes (20-25 minutes if you are making individual pies) until the pastry is golden.