I’m a fan of pie. I’m northern, it’s one of the rules of being northern, that you need to like pie.
Well, if it’s not, it should be.
But this is a pie topped only with pastry, which to me isn’t pie, it’s a pot pie. A proper pie is wrapped in a layer of pastry. Bottom to top. A pot pie is a pie-like dish in a pot, covered with a pastry lid.
For once, there is no booze in this recipe. In fact it simply came about because we had a big leek delivered in our veg box. I fancied leek and chicken, and yeah, that’s it.
A few tips before we get into the recipe. I use a roux to make a white sauce (or to get fancy, veloute) for this pie using chicken stock, milk, butter, leeks and thyme. If you want, you could swap this for a dark gravy, hell if you’re feeling super lazy, mix up a gravy out of gravy granules and chuck it on. It won’t (in my opinion) be as good, but it’ll do.
Please don’t be afraid of a roux, they’re not that scary, I promise. I’ve been making them for years. Equal quantities of flour and butter, cook it for a couple of minutes in a pan to make a paste. Then add warm stock, or warm milk bit by bit until it’s all incorporated. It’ll look paste like the first couple of times you chuck in the liquid, but that’s fine. Just stir it about and add more liquid.
And don’t be afraid of lumps. Sometimes lumps happen. It’s why we have a sieve. Practice makes perfect.
My second tip would be to buy the filo. Sure if you have all the time in the world, go nuts and make it. I don’t. Also, don’t cram it in too hard, or tightly together, or you’ll just end up with a soggy pile of white pastry on the underneath.
Oh and if you don’t like filo use puff pastry or shortcrust.
Finally, if you want to add more veggies, do. If you want to use something other than chicken, do.
It’s your pot pie.
- 350g Chopped roast chicken (leftover roast is perfect)
- 1 small leek finely sliced
- 1/2 Tsp dried thyme
- 200ml Chicken stock
- 100ml Semi skimmed milk
- 8 Sheets filo pastry
- 20g Butter
- 20g Plain flour
- 25g Melted butter for brushing pastry
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190°C.
- Put the cooked chicken in a suitably sized oven dish.
- In a pan, put the butter with the leeks and cook until soft.
- Then add the flour, stirring until combined and cook on a gentle heat for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the stock a little at a time, finishing by adding the milk.
- Bring up to the boil, til it thickens, then turn off the heat and pour over the chicken.
- Top the chicken with the pastry, scrunching it to fit.
- Brush with the melted butter, and pop into the oven for 30-35 minutes.
- Once the pastry is brown and crisp, and the sauce bubbling at the corners, bring it out and serve.