Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chicken and Leek Pie

This recipe came from a cookbook my family checked out of the library when we were studying Ireland in our home school. I have long ago forgotten the name of the cookbook, but this incredible recipe stayed with me.

It's very rich, and involves a lot of effort, but it gets rave reviews every time. Because the sauce is not thickened at all, it is very runny. If you prefer pot pie with a thicker gravy in the filling, you can take the broth and make basic sauce with it before adding it to the pie. It tastes great either way!

The ingredients for this are readily available in most grocery stores.
If you've never had leeks, they look like green onions but they are larger and very mild in flavor, most grocery stores do sell them in the produce department.

Chicken and Leek Pie

2 lbs. leeks
1 onion
3-lb broiling chicken
1 lb ham
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp nutmeg
1 c heavy cream
1 short crust pastry (recipe below)

Wash the leeks thoroughly. Trim off the dark green tops. Slice the pale green and white sections. Slice the onion. Place the chicken, ham, leeks, onion, and spices in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, turn down heat, cover and simmer for about 1.5 hours or until chicken is tender. Turn off the heat and let stand covered, for one hour.

Take out the chicken and ham and carve into pieces. Discard bones and any ham rind. Drain broth and set aside. Layer meat and leeks in pie pan or casserole dish, add cream then broth from the pot not less than 1/2 inch from the rim of the pan.

Wet the rim, cover with short crust, crimp edges, trim extra, make slits in center for escaping steam. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 and bake 10-15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Short Crust Pastry
2 c flour
1 c real butter (no substitutions!)
1/2 c ice water or less

Work the butter well into the flour, to a crumb consistency. Add the water, a little at a time, working it in with a wooden spoon. Add the barest minimum to make a stiff dough. Knead the dough by hand until you can form a ball with it. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. Roll out dough between two pieces of wax paper or parchment paper until slightly larger than your dish. Makes one generous crust.

1 comment:

  1. mmmmmmm. I was just thinking about this the other day. Thanks for posting this!