Chick Pie

This recipe is for one large pie, but as you might see from the picture, I made several small ones so that I could freeze all but one. You can also substitute the ham with lardons or chopped bacon.



For the filling

450ml chicken stock
3 chicken breasts, skinned
75g butter
2 leeks, trimmed and cut into 1cm slices
50g plain flour
200ml milk
2–3 tbsp white wine (optional)
150ml double cream
150g piece thickly carved ham, cut into 2cm chunks

salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the pastry

400g plain flour
200g butter
3 to 4 tbsps water
1 egg, beaten, to glaze



Butter a 23cm pie dish.

Heat your chicken stock in a saucepan.

Cube the chicken breasts and the ham. Fry the chicken in an oiled frying pan and set aside with the ham once cooked.

Melt 25g of the butter in the frying pan over a low heat. Stir in the leeks and fry gently for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until just softened. Add the remaining butter and stir in the flour as soon as the butter has melted. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Slowly pour the milk into the pan, just a little at a time, stirring well between each adding. Gradually add 250ml of the reserved stock and the wine, if using, stirring until the sauce is smooth and thickened slightly. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
Season the mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Pour into a large bowl and cover the surface of the sauce with cling film to prevent a skin forming. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Put a baking tray in the oven to heat.

For the pastry, put the flour and butter in a food processor and blend on the pulse setting until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add water and blend until the mixture forms a ball. Portion off a third of the pastry for the pie lid.

Roll the remaining pastry out on a lightly floured surface, turning frequently until around 5mm thick and 4cm larger than the pie dish. Lift the pastry over the rolling pin and place it gently into the pie dish. Press the pastry firmly up the sides, making sure there are no air bubbles. Leave the excess pastry overhanging the sides.

Stir the chicken, ham and leeks into the cooled sauce. Pour the chicken filling into the pie dish. Brush the rim of the dish with beaten egg. Roll out the reserved pastry for the lid.

Cover the pie with the pastry lid and press the edges together firmly to seal. Trim any excess pastry.

Make a small hole in the centre of the pie with the tip of a knife. Glaze the top of the pie with beaten egg. Bake on the preheated tray in the centre of the oven for 35–40 minutes, or until the pie is golden-brown all over and the filling is piping hot.




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