Food Editor Caitlin Dickinson reviews a rejuvenated menu at Birmingham's PiemasterWritten by Caitlin Dickinson on 21st October 2017
Recipe: Chicken, Ham and Leek Pie
In honour of British Pie Week, Food Writer Will Haynes shares his delicious pie recipe
Celebrate British Pie Week in a suitably opulent fashion by lovingly preparing an enormous pie for your friends and family. In this pie, each element is cooked separately to retain their unique character and flavour.
You will need (serves 8 people):
- 6 chicken thighs
- 500ml chicken stock
- 1 gammon joint (approx. 1 kg)
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- Skin from the chicken thighs
- 3 large leeks
- 2 tbsp flour
- 250ml white wine
- 200 ml crème fraiche
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 250g shortcrust or puff pastry
- 1 medium egg
Start by preheating the oven to 120°C. Peel and slice the onion and carrot and place with the gammon joint in an ovenproof saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil on the hob. Put a lid on and place in the oven to slow cook for 4 hours. Alternatively, cook the gammon in a slow cooker.
For more tender, flavoursome thigh meat, brine in 1L water with 80g salt for 5 hours or overnight. When the gammon has been cooking for 2 ½ hours, place the chicken breasts in a different ovenproof saucepan and cover with the chicken stock. Put a lid on and add to the oven for the remaining 1 ½ hours. Allow both meats to cool in the cooking liquid before dicing. Save 250ml of chicken stock for making the mustard sauce.
Put a tsp of oil in a saucepan on medium heat, then add the chicken skin. Fry for 15 minutes to render the fat out. In the meantime, wash the leeks and slice finely. Remove the chicken skin and discard, then add the leeks to the saucepan. Fry for a further 15 minutes until soft and sweet. Remove from the saucepan with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pan.
Return the saucepan to the heat, and sprinkle in the flour. Cook out the flour, to form a roux, before pouring in the wine gradually, while stirring. Then add the stock and the crème fraiche, continue to heat and whisk until lump free. Stir in the Dijon and wholegrain mustards and season with black pepper.
Heat the oven to 200°C. Combine the diced chicken and ham with the leeks and mustard sauce. Place the mixed filling in a large 24cm pie dish, or in to small individual pie dishes. Top with pastry and trim roughly around the edge with a little extra to fold over. Crimp the edges with a fork or your thumb, and make a whole in the middle to release the steam. Brush the surface with egg wash, before placing in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling is oozing out. Serve with mash and peas, drowning in gravy.
If you want an easy meal for the coming weeks, you can even freeze individual pies in foil containers with lids, and cook them straight from frozen.