February’s kitchen – time for pie!

Time for pie!

With all this rain keeping me out of the garden it’s time for a clear out of the freezer! There’s all sorts of things lurking at the bottom of the baskets. I’ve found a left over gammon steak and some odd bits of chicken along with a pack of puff pastry all a bit past their sell by date but they should be fine! Add in some of the last of the leeks from the veg plot and we should have a warming, tasty pie for tea tonight.

Topped with a crisp puff pastry

Chicken, Ham and Leek Pie

Serves 3 or 2 very hungry people. Takes about an hour

400g chicken, mixture of thigh and breast meat, cut into big bite sized pieces

150g thick cut ham, cut into chunks

1 carrot, peeled and sliced thickly

Salt and pepper

Couple of stalks of tarragon or parsley

350ml stock

2 leeks, sliced

20g butter

Glug of oil

20g plain flour

Approx 150ml milk

1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

Approx 2/3rds 500g pack of puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

  1. Put the chicken, carrot, herbs, stock and seasoning into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked. If using uncooked ham add to the pan as well.
  2. Strain saving the stock. Pour the stock back into the pan and boil vigorously for about 5 minutes until reduced to about 250ml. Pour into a measuring jug and make up to 400ml with milk.

    Make a sauce with the leeks

    Make a sauce with the leeks

  3. Whilst the stock is reducing put the butter and oil into a medium sized pan. Melt, then add the leeks and cook over a low heat until softened. Add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Take off the heat and gradually stir in the milky stock a little at a time. Return to the heat then bring to a gentle simmer stirring all the time until the sauce has thickened.
  4.  Stir in the mustard then add the chicken, ham and carrots. Check for seasoning then spoon into a 2 litre pie dish.

    Add plenty of filling!

    Add plenty of filling!

  5. Roll out the pastry to a 5mm thickness. Brush the rim of the dish with beaten egg and roll and cut a thinner strip the width of the rim. Press onto the rim, and then brush that with more beaten egg. Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry over the top of the dish. Gently press down the edges with a fork or your fingers and trim the pastry with a sharp knife. Use the scraps of pastry to cut shapes to decorate the top.  Cut two slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
  6. Brush all over with beaten egg and pop in the oven 220C/fan 200/gas7/425F. Cook for about 20-25 minutes until the pastry is risen and golden brown.

Serve with the last of the Kale out of the veg plot and some chicken gravy