Past Tense

chicken and leek pie

I love a good pie, with good being the key word. I like almost any kind of sweet pie, I like beef pies and pork pies, but try as I might, I never really liked chicken pies – even those I made myself. Call me picky but I always felt that something wasn’t quite right, that there was something lacking, and I was always disappointed. But as you might be able to tell from the use of past tense, things have changed.

When I was in Perth, I decided to try something a little different in my chicken pies and was very impressed with the results. I couldn’t wait to make it again for my family when I got home. The secret? Leek.

I’ve used leek in risottos and soups before, but never in a pie. I love its delicate oniony sweetness that teams perfectly with the creamy chicken filling. I chose potato, carrot and celery because that is what we had on hand at the time, but I think it would be nice with peas or mushrooms included as well.

The filling is quick and easy to make so it’s good for a weeknight meal, and is especially satisfying on a cool winter evening. This is the perfect way to use up leftover cooked chicken and the vegetables that have been kicking around in the fridge for a while. I would imagine that the cooked filling could also be frozen, so it’s ready for pie assembly whenever you are.

Chicken and Leek Pies
Serves 4

• 50g butter
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 leek, chopped
• ½ onion, finely chopped
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
• 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
• Salt & Pepper
• ½ cup white wine
• 1 carrot, chopped
• 1 stalk celery, chopped (optional)
• 1 potato, chopped into small cubes and cooked until tender
• 1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
• 400mL cream
• Puff pastry, store bought, thawed
• 1 egg, whisked

1. Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F)
2. Melt butter and oil in a frying pan. Add leek, onion and garlic, and stir until softened. Add parsley, and season with salt and pepper.
3. On high heat, add wine. Then add carrot, celery (if using), potato and chicken and cream. Simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
4. Cut pastry rounds to fit individual pie dishes. Spoon filling evenly into each. Cut rounds for the lids and press down to seal. Cut a small slit into the top of each pie, and brush with beaten egg.
5. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until pies are golden. Serve with mashed potato or salad.

19 Comments on “Past Tense”

  1. Lisa

    Katie, the leeks made such a difference! It was delicious

    Honeyb, I tried a new brand of puff pastry, and it was great. I thought I would have to spend hours making my own to get such a nice crust!

  2. Dawn

    That looks so tasty. I just love a really good crust. It would be too hot to make in my kitchen now (we have summer now along with high humidity), but I will save this for Fall.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Lisa

    Lisa, thank you! And yes it’s a very tasty way to use leftovers 🙂

    Pam, what is the difference between a pot pie and a normal pie? Does a pot pie just have a pastry lid? I prepared it that way the first time I made it, and it was also delicious.

    Chicken Pot Pie, I agree! Why is it so hard to find a good pie these days!

    Dawn, I think pie is good autumn/winter food, and its winter here in Sydney so it was just perfect. I hope you’ll try it when the weather cools down!

    Rachelle, I like using puff pastry for the pie lids (savoury pies especially) because its nice and flaky, though sometimes I’ll use shortcrust for the base and blind bake it so it keeps everything in nicely. I do want to try making my own puff pastry one day!

  4. Rozzie Cozzie

    I made you a lovely chicken pie when you stayed at our place!! You said that you loved it, were you fibbing? I’ll tell your mummy on you!
    My filling is onion, garlic, chicken thighs, chicken stock, cream, dijon mustard. Take off the heat and add parmesan cheese and parsley.
    Best chicken pie recipe that I’ve come across, and you know how many cook books I have!! I’ve added to my collection since you last saw it, you’ll see what I mean when you come down.

  5. Lisa

    Y, its the perfect weather for pie at the moment, don’t you think. Hope you enjoy yours!

    Ros, I don’t remember you making me a chicken pie, though I do recall an excellent lasagne. I like the idea of dijon mustard though. And yay! I can’t wait to see your cookbooks, I hope the October visit I’m thinking about all goes according to plan 🙂

  6. Sophie

    Wow, Lisa, this looks really delicious. Leeks have such a yummy flavor, it’s great that you used them in this recipe! Yummy — definitely holding on to this recipe :).

  7. Lisa

    Mark, hope the weather cools down for you. Pie is necessary 🙂

    Patricia, I am more a fan of sweet pies personally, I’m looking forward to experimenting with a few interesting filling combinations soon!

    Sophie, I hope you enjoy this recipe if you try it. The leeks make all the difference, its delicious.

  8. Lisa

    Christie, the original recipe I hardly followed at all said you could use half milk, half cream but I went with all cream.

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