18 January 2013

Chicken, Ham and Leek Pie

To help encourage me with my One New Thing a week I've been going through my cookbooks and trying to add new meals to my weekly meal planning. This week I made a Chicken, Ham and Leek pie from the Hairy Bikers 'Pie' cookbook. And it was an absolute triumph! Even my partner, who can normally find a fault with everything I cook, said it was perfect!

The finished and baked pie!
It was quite an involved recipe. First step was to poach the chicken, then make the sauce, then make the pastry and then put it all together. The recipe also involved a lot of butter and cream so maybe not an every week staple!

The white sauce (I think it's called a roux?) was the most difficult for me as I've never made anything like this before. At one point it look like it was becoming a solid paste but I just kept following the recipe (this is becoming a bit of a mantra for me!) and it turned out fine.

This is only the second time I've made shortcrust pastry and this attempt was much more successful. I tried to roll in one direction only and turn the pastry a quarter turn after each roll. This is supposed to stop the pastry becoming too tough. I also kept the pastry a bit thicker - my last attempt meant I had to do a patch up job which, although it tasted nice, didn't look too pretty! I did forget to egg wash the edge of the pastry base before adding the top so I had to do a bit of lifting and poking to make sure that the top and base stuck together.

I will definitely be making this again! The only improvement I will make is to cut the chicken pieces smaller. The recipe called for 3 cm chunks but I will make them half this size in the next pie.

A piece of sliced pie - two slices needed though as it was so nice!

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