Nothing is nicer on a cold night than a hot tasty pie and these chicken and leek pies are no exception. With a hot, very creamy filling, they are very much a comfort food.
I love these and so do my family and they are often on the menu in the winter months. You could make these as one large pie instead of individual pies. I prefer individual pies because it's easier to accommodate my vegetarian daughter.
You could use left over chicken or buy a BBQ chicken and use that instead of cooking up chicken just for these.
For variation, cook up some mushrooms with the leeks or for a vegetarian alternative (which I do for one of the TwinKids) cut up some Tempeh and toss in the mix instead of the chicken.
This recipe will make 4 or 5 individual pies.
Step 1: Ingredients
2 leeks - sliced
handful of sliced mushrooms (optional)
250g of cream cheese -softened
1/2 teaspoon of prepared mustard - I use whatever we have at the time, usually hot English, Dijon or whole-grain.
about 2- 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
puff pastry - I use frozen, ready made.
You will also need oven-proof ramekins or pie dishes.
Put a baking tray in the oven and preheat oven to 200°C.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until soft. Add milk and mustard and mix until it is a thick sauce. Set aside.
In a large frying pan, melt butter over low heat. Add sliced leeks (and mushrooms if adding them) and cook gently for 4 or 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir the cooked leeks into the creamy sauce. Season to taste.
Return the frying pan to the heat (you may need a little more butter) and cook the chicken. Before I cook the chicken, I toss some diced tempeh to brown in the pan first, then when that's done, I cook the chicken.
At this point, you could mix the chicken into the sauce mix, but because I make one without chicken, I use the following method (plus this way the chicken is evenly distributed)
Divide the sauce mixture between individual ramekins or pour into a single pie dish. Note that if you are making one large pie, you may need to use a pie funnel in the middle to support the pastry lid. An upside down china egg cup will do if you don't have a pie funnel.
Divide the chicken between the pies and stir to combine.
Cut lids from the pastry a little bigger than the pie dishes, but don't add them yet.
Using the rest of the pastry cut thin strips and press these around the rim of each pie dish. Brush lightly with water and add pastry lids. Press around the edges to seal together.
Use remaining pastry to make decorative leaves if desired and stick them to the lid with a little milk. Brush the tops with milk and cut 2 slits to let steam escape.
Place dishes on hot baking tray and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and nicely puffed. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.