Chicken and leek pie is an old fashioned British pie that’s delightfully creamy and packed with chicken and leeks under a buttery shortcrust pastry crust. Serve this homemade dish with mash or mushy peas to make a wonderful winter dinner the whole family will love.
For the Filling
- 1 lb 14 oz boneless skinless chicken thighs (4 thighs; 850g)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (45 ml)
- 1 1/4 cup leeks, sliced (116g)
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup white wine (78 ml)
- 5 tablespoons salted butter (71g)
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour (37g)
- 1/2 cup white wine (118 ml)
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk (177 ml)
- 5 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped (20g)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the Pastry
- 15 ounces shortcrust pastry (425g)
- 1 large egg, beaten
Making the Filling
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, pat dry the chicken thighs with paper towel.
- Once the oil is shimmering, add the thighs to the skillet and brown for 7 1/2 minutes on each side. After a couple minutes of cooking, turn down the heat to medium-low and cook until the chicken reaches 165 F (74 C) in the thickest part of the thigh.
- While the meat is cooking, slice the leeks, mince the garlic, and chop the tarragon. Measure out the butter, flour, wine, and milk, as you won't have time to measure them out later.
- Once the meat has browned, remove it to a plate with a pair of tongs. Take the skillet off the heat and scrape out most of the browned bits with a metal spatula.
- Return the skillet to medium-high heat, then add the leeks and cook for 3 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with 1/3 cup of white wine, stirring until the brown fond is gone from the bottom of the pan. Add additional wine if needed. Dump the cooked veggies into a bowl and set aside.
- Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Dump in the flour and whisk constantly for 2 minutes to cook the flour. Immediately dump in the wine and milk, then whisk constantly until smooth and thickened. Add the chopped tarragon, salt, and pepper, then cook for 2 to 3 minutes and remove from the heat.
- Chop the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces, then stir it and the cooked veggies into the sauce. (You'll probably have a little extra meat; just set that aside to eat later.) Spread the meat filling into a 9-inch pie plate and set aside to cool completely. You can cover and refrigerate the filling at this stage and bake the pie another day.
Baking the Pie
- Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C).
- Roll out the shortcrust pastry on a lightly floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. Brush the edge of the pie plate with beaten egg, then lay the pastry on top and press down the edges to seal. Cut off the excess pastry with a sharp knife and brush the top with beaten egg. Cut a few vent holes in the pastry and decorate as desired.
- Bake the pie at 400 F (200 C) for 35-40 minutes, until the top is a rich golden brown. Let the pie cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack, then serve warm with mashed potatoes or vegetables.
- Use chicken thighs instead of breast for more flavor and moisture.
- In a hurry? Use rotisserie or leftover roasted chicken.
- Is the sauce too thick? Add additional wine or milk to thin it.
- Season the sauce generously. The seasonings will be less potent once the meat and veggies are added.
- Make your own shortcrust or use store bought puff pastry.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: British
Keywords: shortcrust pastry, English, no cream