Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Chicken Leek and Bacon Pies

Over Christmas I didn't get into the kitchen much, what with office parties, visiting relatives and subsisting on peanuts, chocolate and Christmas cake in between. For New Year we decided to throw a dinner party and I relished the opportunity to actually cook something. As this was a party I wanted something that I could prepare in advance and these pies were perfect.

The pastry was crumbly, the creamy chicken filling tender and moist. The look was perhaps a little rustic, my impatience having got the better of me by the time I came to fashion the second pastry 2012.

My friends can be a fussy bunch, but the flavours here are a real crowd pleaser. Suffice to say that these beatuies were a hit all round.

Photo courtesy of my friend Hannah



Chicken, Leek and Bacon Pies

Makes six individual pies

·         A little olive oil
·         4 rashers smoked back bacon
·         2 large chicken breasts
·         4 skinless chicken thigh fillets
·         1 red onion, finely chopped
·         2 leeks, finely sliced
·         200g garlic and herb cream cheese
·         A splash of milk
·         Black pepper
·         Pinch of nutmeg
·         600g Shortcrust pastry
·         1 egg, beaten

1.      In a large non-stick pan fry the bacon in the oil until crisp. Set aside.
2.      Fry the chicken breasts whole in the oil and bacon juices for 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Set aside.
3.      Remove any excess fat from the chicken thighs and chop into one inch pieces. Fry for 10 minutes on a fairly low heat.
4.      Add the onion and allow to soften for a couple of minutes, then add the leeks. Cover and sweat down for 8-10 minutes.
5.      Crumble the bacon and slice the chicken into chunks, then add to the pan along with the cream cheese, black pepper and nutmeg. Let this down with a little milk, but it should be a fairly stiff mixture.
6.      Warm through for a few minutes so that the chicken breasts are fully cooked, then remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
7.      Cut the pastry into 6 even portions and, on a floured surface, roll the first out into a rough rectangle around 30 cm by 15cm.
8.      Place a couple of spoonfuls of the chicken mixture in the centre of one half of the pastry. Brush around the chicken with some of the beaten egg then fold the pastry over, squeezing out any air from around the filling and pressing the two layers together.
9.      Trim into a neatish square and, with a fork, press down on the folded edges to firmly seal the pastry. Transfer to a baking tray.
10.  Make a little hole in the centre of the pie to allow steam to escape and brush with egg wash.
11.  With the pastry trimmings you can fashion any decoration that you want. Stick to the top of the pie and brush with egg wash. Repeat 5 times.
12.  Keep in a fairly cool place until ready to bake. At the last minute brush with any remaining egg wash to get a really glossy finish.
13.  Bake at 180°C for around 40 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
14.  Serve with potatoes and steamed mixed vegetables.



2 comments:

  1. Wow, the pie looks great! Having some friends over this weekend and wasn't sure what to cook, think I will give them a try. Thanks for the recipe.

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  2. Good luck with this. I hope your friends like them as much as mine did!

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