Monday, 6 May 2013

Recipe - Potato, Chicken and Leek pie

Hello again and welcome to another recipe Monday. For all of my Aussie friends, sorry that I didn't get this posted in time for your dinner tonight, but there is always tomorrow night. And given that it will be Tuesday, maybe you'll be in more of a mood to cook. I never feel like cooking on Mondays, sadly my local pizza store has also chosen Monday to be the one day out of the week that they don't open, leaving me absolutely no choice but to throw something together so that Miss K doesn't stare at me like a starving lion.

Now the recipe that I am about to share with you is definitely not something that I'd cook on a Monday, it's more like a Friday or a Saturday recipe. I need a lot of energy in me before I tackle anything as challenging as a pie. (For anyone who isn't completely impotent in the kitchen, you can do this every single day, I just have special needs as a cook.)

Ok so to make a potato, chicken and leek pie, you will need several things first.

2 sheets Shortcrust pastry for the base (or 2 sheets puff pastry if you prefer puff pastry and are happy blind baking it, I have given instructions for both methods.)
1 sheet Puff pastry for the top
500g chicken breasts diced
1 leek sliced
3 - 4 medium sized potatoes diced
1 and a half cup roughly chopped mushrooms
2 tablespoons of plain flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup cream
Salt and pepper to season
Milk or egg for the pastry crust

Serves 4

To make your pie:

Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius (390 degrees farenheit) or 180 degrees celsius (350 degrees farenheit) if you have a fan forced oven.

If you are going to blind bake your bottom layer of puff pastry, do it now. It is fairly simple, just grease your pie dish and lay down your puff pastry sheets so that the entire tin is covered, including a lip at the top. Trim off any excess pastry. Pierce the pastry in several places to prevent it puffing up while it cooks. Place a sheet of greased baking paper or tin foil over the pastry (greased side down) then cover the top of the paper/foil with a layer of pie weights, or a generous amount of rice, making sure that the coverage is heavy enough to keep the pastry flat. Bake in your pre heated oven for 15 minutes, then remove the pie weights/rice and paper/foil covering and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden brown. If you haven't placed enough pie weights or rice on your pastry and it has puffed up, just press it down lightly before returning it to the oven. 

In a fry pan pre heat some oil, then cook the chicken for 5 minutes until it is lightly browned.
Add the leeks, potatoes and mushrooms, and cook for another 5 - 7 minutes until the leeks are softened.
Mix the plain flour into a small amount of water, to make it easier to combine with the other ingredients, then pour the liquid into the fry pan. Cook for another minute stirring.
Add the chicken stock and cream and bring the mixture to the boil.

If you are using shortcrust pastry, grease your pie dish now and line it with a layer of short crust pastry, ensuring that it has a lip. Trim off any excess pastry.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie dish, and brush the edge of the pastry with milk or egg.
Place the top sheet of puff pastry and press the edges down with a fork or your fingers.
Cut a small slit into the top of the pastry, then brush the top with egg or milk to give it a nice shine. Remember that the heat from the mixture inside will make the pastry quite soft and fragile, so you need to be gentle when brushing liquid on top so that you don't tear it.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.


Now that right there is one slice of pure delicious. Sadly it didn't last long in our house, but I always take that as a huge compliment.

And now it's your turn. Go and make this pie and impress your friends and family with the ancient art of pie-making which is really being lost in this day and age, especially with the freezer section of every supermarket full of row after row of machine made pies. 

Well I'll be back again tomorrow with another life hack, but until then, stay awesome.
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