The Pie Life

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7th March 2016 by Steve Rooney

British Pie Week returns today, the annual celebration of a classic British tradition. With the cold weather maintaining its firm hold, a good pie certainly knows how to play to its strengths. Whether you favour sweet or savoury, crisp pastry or a fluffy mash, what better excuse to indulge in a comforting, winter warming dish?

Bel & The Dragon delight in a good pie recipe and our Sustainable Fish Pie with Sorrel & Petits Pois and Duck Shepherd’s Pie with Sundried Tomatoes & Confit Garlic are popular on our menu. What’s more, British Pie Week has inspired us to add another celebratory dish to our menu. Who could fail to enjoy a harmonious combination of Chicken & Leek enveloped in a delicious, savoury sauce underneath a crisp melt-in-your-mouth layer of puff pastry crust?

Our Chicken & Leek Pie with Spring Onion, Chopped Chives & Black Pepper is incredibly easy to prepare. The secret to its success is simple, quality ingredients. Good chicken is a must. Poached in a thyme, rosemary & bay infused stock until tender, the strained liquid is then used to make a delicious herby sauce. The result is heavenly hearty & fabulously flavoursome – and after baking for 40 minutes in an 180C oven, it will have a gloriously golden top.

Serves Four

  • 4 Chicken Legs
  • 16g Sea Salt
  • 2g Black Peppercorns
  • 2g Rosemary & Thyme (sprigs)
  • 4g Thyme (chopped)
  • 6g Chives & Parsley (chopped)
  • 1 Bunch Spring Onions
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 160g Carrots (diced)
  • 80g Celery (chopped)
  • 1 Onion (diced)
  • 1 Celery Stick (chopped)
  • 1 Leek (sliced)
  • 60g Butter
  • 60g Plain Flour
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Place 1000ml cold water in a large pot, add the salt, pepper, thyme & rosemary followed by the chicken legs and leave somewhere cool to infuse overnight. Transfer the chicken legs and aromatics to a stock pot and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil, removing any residue that forms on the surface, add the chopped carrots, celery & leeks and simmer for 10 minutes until the chicken & vegetables are tender. Once cool, the meat should easily fall away from the bone.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the diced onion, celery, garlic and thyme and saute until the onion is opaque. Add the flour to make a roux then slowly add the stock followed by the chicken and cook for a further 15 minutes. Season to taste and add the chopped spring onions, chives & parsley to finish. Transfer to individual pie dishes and top with a layer of puff pastry.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C and bake for 40 minutes until golden & crisp.

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