Chicken and Leek Pie

posted: 06/30/10
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Chicken and Leek Pie


  • 3 whole chicken legs with thighs attached (preferably from corn-fed chickens)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon/5 ml olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons/30 g butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 leek, cut in half lengthwise, washed, cut into 1/2-inch/1-cm strips
  • 1 tablespoon/15 g coarse-grained (pommery) mustard
  • 1/4 cup/35 g all purpose flour
  • 1 cup/250 ml chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup/190 ml plus 1 tablespoon/15 ml whole milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup/55 ml whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons/5 g finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • One 17.3-ounce/490-g package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
  • 1 large egg
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. Place a heavy baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 400?F/205?C. Sprinkle the chicken legs with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Once the baking sheet is hot, place the chicken legs on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken legs over and continue roasting for a further 20 minutes or until the chicken legs are golden brown and cooked through. Set aside to cool slightly. Reserve the pan drippings on the baking sheet.
  3. Shred the chicken meat into bite-size pieces and place the pieces in a bowl. You should have about 12 ounces/350 g of chicken meat. Discard the sinew, bones and skin.

To prepare the filling:

  1. Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and leek and saut? for 5 minutes or just until tender. Stir in the mustard, then the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, 3/4 cup/190 ml of milk and the cream. Mix in the reserved pan drippings. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce thickens. Stir in the shredded chicken and tarragon. Season the chicken mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate the mixture until cold.

To assemble pies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375?F/190?C. Roll out 1 sheet of puff pastry to an 11-inch/28-m square. Transfer the puff pastry square to a 9-inch-/23-cm-diameter pie dish, covering the bottom and sides of the dish and allowing the pastry to hang over the sides of the pie dish.
  2. Using kitchen shears, trim the overhanging dough to 1 inch/2.5 cm. Fold overhanging dough under and crimp to form an edge. Cover the pastry in the pie dish with parchment paper or foil and weigh it down with pie weights or dried beans.
  3. Bake the puff pastry for 20 minutes or until the pastry is set and pale golden around the edges. Carefully remove the parchment paper and pie weights from the pastry. Set the crust aside and cool completely.
  4. Spoon the chilled chicken mixture into the crust. Roll out the remaining sheet of puff pastry into an 11-inch/28-cm square. Trim the corners of the square to form an 11-inch-/28-cm-diameter round.
  5. Drape the puff pastry round over the pie and press it over the crust edges and the rim of the pie dish to seal. Cut slits into the pastry on top of the pie to allow steam to escape.
  6. Mix the egg and remaining 1 tablespoon/15 ml of milk in a small bowl to blend. Brush some of the egg mixture over the pie and garnish with sesame seeds. Set the pie on a heavy baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until pastry is golden brown all over. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool slightly.
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