When the winter cold hits, I start hankering for warming pies, nourishing soups & hearty stews. One of my family's favourite pies are these little chicken, leek & bacon pies. We have great individual pie tins at home but these work equally well (and look ultra cute) in ramekins as well. I like to serve these with a green salad tossed with loads of herbs or with a potato & celeriac puree.
Makes 4 small pies.
1 tbp olive oil
1 leek(pale part), thinly sliced
500g boneless chicken thighs (or breasts - but the thighs tend to be juicier), cut into 2cm pieces
1 tbp plain flour
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbp Italian Parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Ready made puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
4x300ml pie dishes or ramekins
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Heat the butter and oil in a pan over low heat. Add the leek, bacon and chicken and cook, stirring, for 6-8 minutes until the leek is soft and chicken is almost cooked.
2. Stir in the flour and nutmeg and cook for 1-2 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the stock, increase heat to medium and bring to the boil. Season, then remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraiche, parsley and lemon juice. Cool down.
3. Cut two 1cm strips from the sides of each pastry sheet. Set aside. Cut pie lids from the remaining pastry, 1cm wider than the top of the pie dishes or ramekins. Divide chicken mixture among dishes. Press pastry strips around the rim of each dish to make a ‘collar’ and brush with some of the egg. Carefully top with pie lids, press firmly into the collar to seal, then trim edges if necessary. Make 2 cuts in each pie top, then brush with remaining egg.
4. Bake the pies for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden.