Simple Chicken and Leek Pie

February 6, 2013

All you need to make this tasty Chicken and Leek Pie is béchamel (white sauce), chicken, chicken stock, leeks, and a little butter. With a store-bought pastry crust you're on your way to a delicious and hearty meal! Watch how easy it is to make and get the Chicken and Leek Pie recipe below:

Chicken and leek pie made very simple.  All it is, is béchamel, which you’ve seen me make many times before, chicken, leeks and chicken stockpot and a little butter, in the pan it goes, take our leeks, cut them quite large so they’ve got some texture, otherwise they just disappear.  So it’s about two leeks for four breasts, in the pan they go.  I always cut my chicken quite chunky, so by the time it goes in the pie it’s only half cooked and by the time the pie’s cooked, the chicken’s cooked perfectly.  Cook your leeks without color then we can add the béchamel.  People tend to blanch them in boiling water their leeks, but all that does is put water inside the leeks, they become soggy.  And then when you put them inside the sauce, they release their water, they dilute the sauce.  What we’re doing again is frying the leeks, by frying them we’re removing the water, by removing the water we intensify the flavor and secondly, there’s no water being released into our sauce.  And also the leeks, because they’re being fried, will be much stronger in flavor and that will release more flavor into the sauce.  As you can see, they’re wilting down nicely.

One thing you’ll notice, I very rarely shake a pan.  Why?  Because by shaking a pan, one, I’m taking the pan away from the heat so there’s a loss of heat, secondly, things can spill out.  So I tend to leave the pan on the heat and move what’s in the pan.  I think when you make a chicken and leek pie, a chicken and mushroom pie, keep it very simple.  So what we do now is we’ve got 500 mils of béchamel or white sauce, stir that in, one chicken stockpot, dissolve that into your white sauce, then let’s put our chicken in.  So it’s a corn fed chicken, and so we poach them in the sauce until it’s half cooked.  If I was making chicken pie with Madeira and mushrooms, if it was a sauce based from juices then I would fry it, because it’s a cream sauce I’m not going to fry it, I’m going to poach it, like a classic blanquette de veau or blanquette de poulet, whichever, if you speak in French, a blanquette is where it’s poached and it’s much more tender.  Just turn them over.  So in the pan we have the leeks which were wilted in butter, then we added the béchamel, we then added the chicken stockpot, dissolved it into the sauce and then we added the large chunks of chicken which we will half cook.

And as you can see now it’s just cooking away on a low heat, so my chicken’s half cooked and then what we do, put our nice big chunks of chicken with the leeks in the pie, the chicken’s half cooked, the leeks are cooked perfectly, just leave that to one side, we’ll roll out our pastry, chop it, egg wash it, in the oven, 20 minutes/25 minutes and we shall have delicious chicken pie, so for our pastry topping the best shortcrust.  I know a lot of people use puff pastry, you know, in my opinion, it’s not traditional and it doesn’t ease as well.  This is very good pastry from a supermarket.  Okay, floor your table, give it a turn, give it a turn and when you work with pastry, roll it, turn it, roll it, turn it, because then it comes out even, it’s a very safe way, put it underneath the dish with egg wash, so when I flip the pastry over it sticks and just tuck it underneath, there’s no point to trim, you see if the pastry shrinks your pie leaks, then egg wash, always work quickly because your pastry will melt.  And that can go in a hot oven for approximately 20-30 minutes.  And there’s our chicken and leek pie, very simple, very straightforward.  If we’re honest, if we buy the pastry, make our béchamel, it takes approximately an hour and a half.

Chicken and Leek Pie

1 Knorr Chicken Stock Pot
4 chicken breasts
2 leeks
5 tablespoons butter

1 egg
1 store bought pastry shell
For the bechamel:

2 cups milk
3 level tablespoons flour
5 tablespoons butter
1 Knorr Chicken or Vegetable Stock Pot

Pre-heat the oven to 395F

Prepare béchamel (white sauce) until creamy.  Note when making béchamel, you can use Vegetable Stock Pot or Chicken Stock Pot – it’s your choice

Chop the white parts of the leeks. Keep the pieces quite large so they have some texture. Otherwise they just disappear in the sauce.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a frying pan. Cook the leeks without color in the butter until softened and most of the liquid is evaporated.

Cut each chicken breast into three pieces. I always keep my chicken quite chunky for the simple reason that I want it only half-cooked when I assemble the pie. Smaller pieces will dry out. My way, the pie and the chicken finish cooking simultaneously.

Poach the chicken pieces for approximately 10 minutes in the béchamel sauce – dissolve one further Knorr Chicken Stock Pot into the sauce.  Keep stirring until the chicken is half-cooked.

Transfer the chicken, béchamel and leek mix to a pie dish.

Roll out the pastry. Lay the pastry over the dish and mold it around the side of the dish so it holds in place. It helps to glaze the edge of the dish with beaten egg beforehand to help it stick. Brush the pastry lid with the egg wash. This will help give it some color in the oven. Don’t be tempted to trim the pastry because it will shrink in the oven and if the pastry shrinks, the pie will leak.

Put into the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until it is golden brown on top.




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