Chicken, smoked bacon and leek pie
- October 2015
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 50 min, oven time 30 min
You can’t get any more British than a chicken pie, especially one that is packed with leeks, chicken and bacon. This hearty recipe celebrates everything good about autumn.
- 43.5g (24.3g saturated)
- 43.9g (4.5g sugars)
For the pastry
- 250g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 1 tsp salt
- 125g unsalted butter
- 1 medium free-range egg
- ½ tbsp ice cold water
For the pastry
- 250g British free-range smoked bacon, roughly chopped (see tip)
- 30g unsalted butter
- 200g shallots, thinly sliced
- 400g leeks (about 4), sliced
- 6 free-range skinless, boneless chicken thighs, sliced into 3 pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3½ tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 200ml dry cider
- 250ml fresh chicken stock
- 150g full fat crème fraîche
- Squeeze lemon juice
- ½ small bunch fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 medium free-range egg, beaten, to glaze
- Greens such as kale to serve
- For the pastry, whizz the flour, salt and butter in a food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and ½ tbsp water, then pulse until the pastry comes together. You may need a little more water if the dough looks too dry and floury.
- Tip the pastry out onto a lightly floured work surface and bring together lightly with your hands. Shape into a fat disc, then wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan or deep saucepan over a high heat. Add the bacon and fry, stirring regularly, for 5-10 minutes until golden.
- Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside on kitchen paper. Add the butter, turn the heat to medium-high, add the shallots and leeks, then gently fry for 5-10 minutes until they start to soften. Add the chicken pieces and fry for 2 minutes more. Add the garlic and flour, then fry for a few more minutes.
- Return the bacon to the pan, turn up the heat slightly and add the mustard, cider and stock. Simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add the crème fraîche, lemon and tarragon, then season. Leave to cool. (See Make Ahead.)
- Spoon the filling into a 1.5 litre pie dish. On a flour-dusted work surface, roll out the pastry until it’s the thickness of a £1 coin. Trim a few long thin strips off the pastry, then press them around the lip of the pastry dish – it doesn’t need to be perfect and it will help if you wet the rim lightly first.
- Lightly brush the pastry strips with a little beaten egg. Roll up the pastry loosely onto the rolling pin, then unravel over the pie. Carefully trim the excess pastry from the dish then, using either a fork or your fingers, crimp the edges neatly. Generously and evenly glaze the pastry with beaten egg, then chill for 20 minutes. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
- Transfer the pie to the centre of the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden and cooked through. Serve with fresh greens.
Instead of bacon you could use shredded ham hock or diced pork shoulder. Pork shoulder will need to be cooked over a low heat for 2 hours or until tender before being added to the pie.
Prepare the pastry up to 2 days in advance, then keep chilled and wrapped in cling film. It freezes well for up to 1 month, wrapped in 2 layers of cling film. You can make the filling up to 48 hours ahead and keep covered in the fridge, or freeze in a sealed container for up to 1 month.
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