Chicken and leek pie

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Make these individual and leek pies in small tart tins or in a four-hole Yorkshire pudding tin. Alternatively, as in the main picture, make one large pie using a 20 cm/8 in tart tin or pie plate. Comforting and sustaining they are excellent served hot, warm or cold and are ideal for picnics. It is very nice to serve the pie in small,  individual dishes that can be easily take out or serve at home. Seasonal salad is great side dish. Meat pies with fillings such as steak, cheese, steak and kidney, minced beef, or chicken and mushroom are popular in the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand as take-away snacks. They are also served with chips as an alternative to fish and chips at British chip shops.

Ingredients:

15 g butter

1 leek, thinly sliced

2 eggs

225 g skinless chicken breast fillets, finely chopped

150 g ham, diced or sliced

small handful of fresh parsley or mint, finely chopped

beaten egg, to glaze

115 g cold butter, diced

65 g white vegetable fat (shortening), diced

90 – 120 ml chilled water

225 g plain (all-purpose) flour

1.5 ml salt

salt and ground black pepper, to taste

chicken and leek pie 2

Preparation:

To make the pastry, sift the flour and the salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter and fat until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with 90 ml chilled water and mix until the dough holds together. If it is too crumbly, add a little bit more water.

Gather the dough into a ball and flatten it into a round. Wrap in clear film (plastic wrap) and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 3 mm. Cut out four circles, each large enough to line an individual tart tin (pan) and line the four pans. Cut the remaining pastry into four slightly smaller circles ready to make lids for the pies.

Melt the butter in a small pan, ad the leek and cook gently for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft but not brown.

Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the chicken, ham, herbs and seasoning. Add the leek and its juices, mix and spoon into the pastry cases. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg and place the lids on the top, pressing the edges together to seal them. brush the tops with egg and make a small slit in the centre of each.

Put into the hot oven and cook for about 30 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.