Chicken and leek pie

chicken and leek pie

chicken and leek pieThe rich sauce in this pie moistens the chicken and leeks and the tarragon provides a subtle liquorice flavour. I often buy ready made vol au vents and make this filling for buffet parties or when I’m in a rush I serve the chicken and leek sauce with pasta or rice.


Serves: 4

Total time: 55 minutes


  • 1 water
  • 120g plain flour
  • 300 mls milk
  • Black pepper freshly ground
  • Tarragon or use 1 teaspoon dry or 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium egg beaten
  • 2 chicken fillets diced
  • 90g butter
  • 1 leek
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/3 chicken stock cube (crumbled)
  • 1 cox apple cored aand cut into small pieces
  • 2-3 slice streaky bacon


  • Oven Temperature: 400ºF – 200ºC – Gas Mark 6 – Moderately hot
  • For the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  • Into a bowl, place two thirds of the butter, using your fingertips, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Lift the flour into the air as you do so, to get some air into the mixture and keep it cool
  • Add just enough cold water to form a dough and mix together with a knife
  • Then, using your hands, bring the dough together in the bowl
  • Turn it out onto a clean, floured work surface and knead briefly
  • Shape it into a flattened circle and wrap it in cling film
  • Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes
  • While the pastry is chilling, make the white sauce. Make a roux by melting the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the cornflour and stir with a wooden spoon over a medium heat for a minute
  • Take off the heat
  • Add the milk all at once and whisk the mixture with a balloon whisk alternatively add the milk a little at a time stirring continuosly. Once all the milk has been added, place the pan back onto a medium heat and whisk or stir continuously until the sauce comes to the boil and thickens
  • Cook for another five minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Add the mustard and the crumbled stock cube
  • Stir well, then allow to cool
  • For the filling, trim and dice the chicken fillets. Top and tail the leeks. Slice them into thin rings and wash thoroughly
  • Prepare apples, peeling, coring and cubing
  • Dice bacon, fry in a pan, add chicken, cook for 5 minutes, add leeks and apples. Stir for 5 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place the chicken mixture into a pie dish. Sprinkle the tarragon leaves, if using, over the top. Season with freshly ground black pepper
  • Pour over the cooled white sauce
  • For the pastry top, allow the pastry to get up to room temperature. Lightly flour a clean board and roll out the pastry into a rectangle about 1 inch bigger than the top of the pie dish
  • With a knife, trim long, half-inch wide strips from the pastry. Use the strip to line the edge of pie dish. (Brush with a bit of water (to help the pastry adhere) and placing them in a single layer around the outer edge of the pie dish
  • Using your rolling pin, lift the remaining pastry sheet and place it on top of the dish to form a lid
  • Trim around the edge of the pie dish with a knife to cut off the excess pastry. Use thumb or a fork to seal the edges. Make a hole in the centre to allow the air to escape
  • Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg wash. Decorate the top with pastry trimmings
  • Place the pie on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until bubbling hot and golden
  • The cooked filling can be used without the pastry if preferred. Alternatively use ready made puff pastry.