An historic recipe dating back to medieval Wales, Chicken and Leek Pie offers incredible, comforting flavors and simple luxury. This was elegant cuisine then as it remains today. This is one of a range of great recipes that came over to the United States in its early, colonial days, becoming a favorite of taverns and home cooks. It forms the basis for Chicken Pot Pie, it’s more common American cousin.
- 6 ounces short crust pastry
- chicken; about 4 pounds*
- sliced ham steak
- large leeks; cleaned and chopped
- 1 medium onion
- salt and pepper
- 1 pinch ground mace or nutmeg
- 1 1/4 Cups chicken stock
- 1/2 Cup heavy cream
- Make the pastry and leave it in a cold place to rest.
- Meanwhile prepare the pie. In a deep 1 - 1 1/2 quart dish, place layers of the chicken, the ham, leeks and onion or shallot, adding the mace, nutmeg and seasoning, then repeating the layers until the dish is full. Add the stock, then dampen the edges of the dish before rolling out the pastry to the required size and a thickness of about 1/4-inch.
- Place the pastry over the pie and press the edges down well. Crimp them with a fork.
- Make a small hole in the center. Roll out the scraps of pastry and form a leaf or rosette for the top. Place this very lightly over the small hole.
- Brush the pastry with milk, and bake at moderate heat, 350 degrees F, for 25 to 30 minutes. Cover the pastry with damp grease-proof paper when partially cooked if the top seems to be getting too brown.
- Gently heat the cream. When pie is cooked, remove from oven. Carefully lift off the rosette and pour the cream in through the hole. Put back the rosette and serve. (This pie forms a delicious soft jelly when cold.)
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