While eating this chicken and leek pie you can easily imagine you are in a little stone pub somewhere in Ireland. Ivy creeps up the walls. Sheep are milling around the yard. A pint of bitters drips moisture onto a long and well-scrubbed wooden table.
Okay, so you may not actually be on the Emerald Isle, but why not celebrate St. Patricks Day anyways? Chicken and leek pie is a classic comfort food recipe that schoolchildren in Ireland and Britain have been enjoying for a long time. Traditionally, a chicken and leek pie recipe would include ham rather than bacon and sometimes mushrooms. Regardless this is a different and unique chicken pie recipe and a perfect Sunday dinner.
Chicken and Leek Pie Recipe(serves 6)
First you will need to make the pastry dough, (you can also substitute store bought pastry). Cut the butter into small cubes (about 1cmx1m) and add to the flour. Using your hands, quickly break the butter into the flour until it is pea sized. Slowly add water a few tablespoons at a time and stir the water in until it is just moist everywhere, you won't need the fill 1/2 cup. Transfer the pile to a clean counter top, it should look quite ragged at this point. Gently compress the dough into a round flat ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Remove the skin and bones from the chicken legs. Cut into small, bite-sized pieces.
Cut the white & light green part from the leek. Discard the dark green or use it for something else. Cut the white part into thin rounds (~1/4"). Place in a sink of cold water and use your fingers to break the rings apart and rub any dirt away. Let them sit in the sink for 5 minutes and the dirt and grit should drain to the bottom. Gently left out. Cut the bacon into small diced bits.
Heat your biggest skillet to medium and add oil. Add chicken and saute until about two thirds cooked. Remove to a plate and chill in the fridge while you are doing the rest. Add bacon and cook until crispy. Add leeks to the pan, as much as will fit, allow to sweat. If it starts to get dry add a few tablespoons of water. Continue until the leeks are tender, remove to a bowl and continue until all the leeks are tender.
Meanwhile in a sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Whisk flour and butter over heat for 4 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk a third at a time. Between each addition of milk, bring the mixture back to a simmer. Do the same with the chicken stock. Add thyme and simmer gently for another 10 minutes. Stir in cream and mustard and taste for seasoning. Add leek mixture to bechamel and cool. Once cooled you can mix with chicken.
Turn your oven on to 425F.
Roll out the pastry dough into a circle. Cut a vent in the centre. Transfer cooled chicken mixture to a pie plate and top with pie crust. Cut off any excess dough from the sides and run a fork around the edges to press it down. If you have any extra dough, feel free to get creative and decorate it.
Put pie into a 425F oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn the temperature down to 350F and rotate the pie. Bake for another 45 minutes, or until the crust is nice and brown and the mixture is bubbly.