Chicken, Leek & Potato Pot Pie
This is real comfort food, which I like to serve with some buttered broccoli or peas. You can replace the chicken with bite-sized pieces of salmon, which just need to be sealed before folding them into the reduced cream sauce. Otherwise, try adding leftover cubes of cooked ham and/or roast chicken to the finished sauce.
step one: Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/ gas 7. Season the chicken thigh pieces. Heat half the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan and add the chicken pieces, then fry over a moderate heat until just sealed. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.
step two: Add the remaining oil to the frying pan, tip in the leeks and potatoes and fry over a moderate heat for 5 minutes or until the leeks are soft and the potatoes are nicely coated. Return the chicken to the pan and pour over the cream (reserving a tablespoon for brushing the top of the pie). Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 3–4 minutes until the cream has slightly reduced and thickened and the potatoes are almost tender. Season to taste.
step three: Transfer the chicken and potato mixture to a 1.2 litre (2 pint) pie dish and allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, roll out the ready-rolled pastry to a slightly larger round than the pie dish and cut out. Cut the trimmings into long thin strips about 2.5cm (1 inch) wide (but don’t be too fussy). Dampen the rim of the pie dish with water and then line with the pastry strips. Brush with a little more water and then cover with the pastry lid. Press the edges firmly to seal, then trim the edges and flute with the back of a knife.
step four: Brush the top with the reserved tablespoon of cream (but not the sides, as this will stop the pastry from rising). Bake for 25– 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is piping hot. Serve straight to the table and allow people to help themselves.
- 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
- 350g (12oz) potatoes (e.g. Maris Piper or King Edward), peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 300ml (1/2 pint) double cream
- 1 x 375g (13oz) packet ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed if frozen
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil