Winter is already well underway, so here is a winter warmer using lovely leeks. You can also use leftover roast chicken or turkey, just add this to the mix at the last moment. I have gone for a wholemeal pastry however if you don’t have wholemeal flour then plain pastry is just as nice! I know this may seem wrong but half lard and butter, I think, makes the best short crust pastry, however if you don’t fancy making it with lard then you can substitute the lard for all butter. I have used a food processor to make the pastry but you can easily do it by hand following the same method.
900 kg Chicken Thighs (preferably on the bone)
4 Large Leeks
400 ml White Wine / Vermouth
250 ml Water
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tsp Thyme
1 ½ Tbsp Corn Flour / Plain Flour
3 Tbsp Double Cream / Crème Fraiche
5/6 Sprigs of Fresh Tarragon (roughly chopped)
Juice of Half a Lemon
100g Plain Flour
100g Plain Wholemeal Flour
2 Tbsp Milk
½ Tsp Salt
1 Egg (whisked together with a dash of milk)
- Trim off any excess skin or fat from the thighs
- Heat up 1 tbsp of oil (olive or sunflower) in a large pan. Place the thighs in skin side down, and cook on each side until golden brown.
- Wash and slice the leeks keeping them quite long – about 2 inches.
- Add the leeks, bayleaf, thyme, white wine/vermouth and water to the chicken. Season well and simmer gently for an hour with the lid on.
- Remove the chicken and leave to cool.
- Turn up the heat and bring to the boil with the lid off, reduce for 10 minutes.
- Make a paste with the cornflower and a little water, add this to the pan to thicken up the sauce.
- Add the cream or crème fraiche, chopped tarragon and lemon juice. Make sure the seasoning is okay.
- Pull the cooled chicken off the bone and place back into the pan.
- Heat through for a few more minutes then place the mix into a large pie dish and set aside to cool.
- Place the flours, butter, lard and salt into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
- Add the milk a little at a time whilst continuing to mix until the mix forms a still ball.
- Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge.
- Pre heat the oven to 180.
- Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin to make a lid for the dish. Trim of any excess pastry with a knife.
- Decorate with the left over pastry and glaze with the egg wash.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown.