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Chicken and leek pie with crispy potato topping


Makes: 6
timePrep time: 1 hr
timeTotal time:
Chicken and leek pie with crispy potato topping
Recipe photograph by Rob Streeter

Chicken and leek pie with crispy potato topping

Who would say no to a comforting homemade pie? Using full-fat dairy provides a source of extra energy and vitamins

Makes: 6
timePrep time: 1 hr
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
611Kcal
Fat
23gr
Saturates
9gr
Carbs
42gr
Sugars
4gr
Fibre
7gr
Protein
51gr
Salt
0.7gr

Annie Bell

Annie Bell

Annie started her career as a chef, and is now an award-winning food writer who has written more than a dozen cookbooks. Her recipes are always as beautiful as they are delicious.

See more of Annie Bell’s recipes
Annie Bell

Annie Bell

Annie started her career as a chef, and is now an award-winning food writer who has written more than a dozen cookbooks. Her recipes are always as beautiful as they are delicious.

See more of Annie Bell’s recipes

Ingredients

For the filling
  • 4 tbsp extra- virgin olive oil
  • 1.6-1.8 kg chicken thighs and drumsticks*
  • 500g leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 150ml white wine
  • 300ml chicken stock or water
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 40g plain flour
  • 50g full fat crème fraîche
  • 2-3 tsp Dijon mustard, to taste
  • 1 x 80g pack watercress, coarsely chopped
For the potato topping
  • 1.1 kg medium or large waxy potatoes, eg Charlotte, peeled and halved or quartered as necessary
  • 1 x 30g pack flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped

Step by step

Get ahead
The filling can be made ahead and chilled, or frozen in the dish, with the potato added after defrosting. Leftovers reheat well
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large casserole over a medium-high heat, season the chicken pieces and colour them on both sides (you will probably need to do this in batches), then remove them to a bowl. Pour off the fat, turn the heat down a little, add another tablespoon of oil and fry the leeks for a few minutes until softened and lightly coloured, stirring frequently, then remove them to a large bowl.
  2. Return the chicken pieces to the casserole, add the wine, stock or water and a little seasoning. Press the chicken pieces down (they won’t be completely covered), bring the liquid to the boil, then cover and simmer over a low heat for 35 minutes until the chicken is just tender, stirring halfway through. Remove the chicken pieces to a plate, reserving the cooking liquid (skim off any fat) and, once they are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin and shred the flesh, adding it to the bowl with the leeks.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium nonstick saucepan over a medium heat, stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute until it's a thick paste. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the cooking liquid and the crème fraîche until smooth. Bring to the boil, stirring frequently, and simmer over a low heat for 5 minutes. Adjust the consistency if required and whisk in the mustard to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken and leeks, and mix in the watercress. Transfer this to a shallow 2 litre ovenproof dish.
  4. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the potatoes and simmer until tender, then drain through a colander and leave for a few minutes for the surface moisture to evaporate. Return them to the pan and mash them very coarsely, partly chopping them with the side of the masher. Stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and some salt, and then the parsley. Spoon the potato on top of the chicken – it should be loose and craggy.
  5. Heat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6, and bake for 35-45 minutes until golden and crisp on top.
    Tip
    *It doesn’t really matter whether you use thighs, drumsticks or a mixture, however you happen to find them packaged.

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