Chicken, Ham and Leek Pie – Hairy Bikers Perfect Pies

I know another Hairy Bikers pie recipe… but I thought it was time I tried a ‘proper’ pie recipe from their Perfect Pies cookbook The Hairy Bikers’ Perfect Pies: The Ultimate Pie Bible from the Kings of Pies. I also decided to treat myself to a proper pie dish as it is easier to get good results if you have the right equipment. My elder son is away this w/e and since he will only eat leeks under duress I thought I’d try this pie whilst he was away.

My pastry cracked as I rolled it out but when I read their notes on pastry I discovered that was because I’d used too much flour when rolling out. There was also slightly too much sauce (and as you can see some oozed out. I think the size of chunks of meat they recommend are too big but despite these minor comments the pie was lovely and I’ll definitely be made again. It looked to be far too much and at the start of dinner we felt their note that it served 5 – 6 assumed rather large appetites. But by the time 4 of us had seconds it proved accurate (see below).

A measure of how success this pie was is at the end of the meal my FIL ordered a copy of the book for himself!

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast poached with a stock cube (see below)
  • 250 milliliter cooking liquor (see below)
  • 75 grams butter
  • 2 slender leeks, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50 grams plain flour
  • 200 milliliters milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons white wine
  • 150 grams thickly craved ham cut into 2cm chunks
  • flaked sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • SHORTCRUST PASTRY
  • 350grams plain flour
  • plus extra for rolling
  • 200 grams cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • beaten egg, to glaze
Method

Poach the chicken breast in a pan of 450 milliliter simmering water with a chicken stock cube for ten minutes, reserve 250 milliliters of cooking liquor. Melt 25 grams of the butter in a large non- stick saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the leeks and fry gently for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more, then tip everything into a bowl. Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining butter. Add the flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the milk, a little at a time, stirring well between each addition. Gradually add the cooking liquor and the wine, stirring until the sauce is smooth and thick. Season to taste, remove from the heat and add the cream. Pour into a bowl and cover with cling film.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/ Fan 180°C and put in a baking tray to heat. To make the pastry, put the flour and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add the beaten egg and water and blend until the mixture comes together in a ball, reserve 280 grams of the pastry for the lid.  Roll out the pastry until about 3 mm thick and 4 cm larger than you dish, line the bottom of the pie dish pressing firmly.
Cut the breasts into 3 cm chunks and add the cooked sauce with the leeks and ham. Tip the filling into the pie dish and brush the rim with beaten egg.
Roll out the rest of the pastry, cover the pie, pressing the edges to seal, then trim and crimp. Make a small hole in the centre of the pie with a knife tip, brush the top with beaten egg. Bake on the tray in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes or until the pie is golden brown and the filling is piping hot.
Use a 23 cm round pie dish

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