Sometimes I think my Instagram captions are a bit longer so I am going to start a brand blog or try anyway. Only I’m going to call it a journal because blogs are for cool people in my mind and I am yet to be cool. If someone could let me know if/when I become cool, that would be excellent. To entice you to come back here again and as we are properly in Autumn verging on Winter now, I am going to share my chicken pie recipe.
As a little warning, when I cook savoury meals I am not a huge measurer and tend to just use my instincts. I should also mention that I was making this pie for my brother and his girlfriend who have healthy appetites and also made a mini pie for our next door neighbours so unless you are making for this many people, you probably do not need to use a giant wok as I did. I used a pack of bacon and roughly one chicken breast per person. My mum and I don’t eat as much so I just used one larger chicken breast between us. There’s also roughly half a large leek per person.
Bacon (one to two rashers per person)
Chicken breasts (approx. one per person)
Leeks (approx. half a leek per person)
Salt and pepper
One packet of puff pastry
Firstly, cook your bacon (chopped into pieces) in a pan or giant wok if you are feeding all the people I was trying to feed. I use a medium heat to avoid burning and a tiny bit of oil. While the bacon is cooking, I chop the chicken breasts into pieces.
Once the bacon is cooked, turn it out into your pie dish leaving the bacon fat in the pan. Then cook your chicken pieces in the bacon fat and while the chicken is cooking, I chop my leeks. When I think they are cooked I cut into the biggest chicken piece to check if it is cooked though and then I put the chicken into my pie dish.
Next I soften my leeks in the leftover chicken juice and fat. Just before the leeks go brown , I add a small cup of water which will help soften them further without burning them.
Mush mush mush your leeks
Once the leeks are soft I add butter into the pan and once it is melted I add plain flour and stir to make a leeky roux. Roughly I’d say I used 30g of butter and three desert spoons of flour. I stir the roux for a minute or so to cook the flour out a little bit. I prefer to have too much roux than too little because I find it easier to thin a sauce instead of thicken it.
Slowly add in milk and let the sauce thicken each time. I find the key to a good sauce is patience (or a phone call from my brother which distracts me enough to let the sauce thicken and flour cook out). As you add more milk you can also add salt and pepper and some wine to taste. I leave the sauce on a low heat for maybe 10-20 minutes. I probably used about a pint or 500ml of milk.
(I know the wine bottle is blurry in this photo but the wine is an important step that needed a photograph...)
After the sauce is finished, mix the sauce, leeks, chicken and bacon together and put into the pie dish.
The last photo I managed to take of the pie. And it doesn't even look that good. Dammit.
Because I think life is too short to make pastry unless I am particularly feeling like trying something different, I buy a roll of pre-made pastry and stick this to the top of my pie dish. Unless I have been cooking using eggs on the same day, I will just brush the pastry with milk as I don’t like wasting a whole egg on an egg wash.
I cook the pie at somewhere between 180°C and 200°C for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. I told you I wasn’t very precise!
I do not have a finished photo of the pie as it was for the hungry brother and his girlfriend and last time I tried to photograph food before serving, there was some grumbling! I also did not realise how stressful it would be to try and photograph the steps while also trying to cook so please forgive my 'photography'!