Delia Chicken and Leek Pie Recipe

Last updated on March 30, 2024

Delia Chicken and Leek Pie Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 40 Mins Cook Time: 20 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr

Delia Smith Chicken and Leek Pie is a classic, comforting dish that combines succulent chicken and tender leeks in a rich, savory gravy, all encased in a flaky, buttery pastry. It’s an ideal choice for family meals, casual get-togethers, or a cozy dinner at home.

In this article, I’ll show you how to make Delia Smith’s chicken and leek pie recipe, which is one of my favorites. Delia Smith is a famous British cook and author, who has been teaching people how to cook for over 50 years.

What is Delia Chicken and Leek Pie?

Delia chicken and leek pie is a delicious and easy recipe that uses chicken and leek as the main ingredients, along with a creamy sauce and a puff pastry crust. It is a classic British dish that is perfect for a cozy and satisfying meal. Delia Smith is a famous British cook and author who created this recipe and shared it with millions of people.

This recipe serves 6 people and takes about 2 hours to make. Other Popular Recipes

Why You Love this Recipe

  • Consistently Perfect Results: Following Delia’s straightforward instructions guarantees a delightful pie every time, offering reliability in your cooking adventures.
  • Adaptable to Your Preferences: Whether using fresh or leftover chicken, the recipe allows for personalization in seasonings and herbs, catering to different tastes.
  • Comforting and Satisfying: The creamy chicken and leek filling pairs with the crisp pastry to create a dish that’s both warming and filling, ideal for a cozy meal.
  • Convenient for Busy Schedules: The pie can be prepared in advance and frozen, making it a practical choice for future meals. This feature also supports advanced preparation of the filling and pastry, streamlining the cooking process.

Ingredients Needed to Make Delia Chicken and Leek Pie

  • 450 g (1 lb) chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 40 g (1 1/2 oz) butter
  • 2 medium leeks, trimmed and sliced
  • 25 g (1 oz) plain flour
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) double cream
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 450 g (1 lb) ready-made puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten, for glazing

Instructions to Make Delia Chicken and Leek Pie (Step by Step Guide)

Follow these steps to make this recipe.

Step 1: Cook the Chicken

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan, gas mark 6).
  • Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and place them in a large saucepan.
  • Add the chicken stock, bay leaves, and peppercorns.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Drain the chicken and reserve the stock. Discard the bay leaves and peppercorns.

Step 2: Make the Leek Sauce

  • In another large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  • Add the leeks and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the leeks and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, to make a roux.
  • Gradually whisk in 570 ml (1 pint) of the reserved chicken stock, stirring until smooth and thickened.
  • Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the chicken and mix well.

Prepration of Delia Chicken and Leek Pie

Step 3: Assemble the Pie

  • Transfer the filling to the pie dish and let it cool slightly.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a size that will cover the pie dish with some overhang.
  • Brush the rim of the pie dish with some beaten egg.
  • Place the pastry over the filling and press the edges to seal.
  • Trim off the excess pastry and make a small hole in the center of the pie to allow steam to escape.
  • Brush the pastry with more beaten egg and decorate with any pastry scraps if you like.

Step 4: Bake the Pie

  • Bake the pie for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is risen and golden.
  • Serve hot or warm, with a green salad or some steamed vegetables.

What Do I Serve With Delia Chicken and Leek Pie?

When planning what to serve alongside Delia Smith’s Chicken and Leek Pie, it’s essential to balance the flavors and textures.

Here are some suggestions that complement the pie beautifully:

  • Green Salad: A crisp, fresh green salad adds a refreshing contrast to the rich pie.
  • Steamed Vegetables: Nutritious options like carrots, peas, or broccoli offer a healthy, colorful side dish.
  • Bread or Rolls: Ideal for soaking up the delicious sauce, fresh bread or rolls are a comforting addition.
  • Mashed Potatoes or Chips: For a more indulgent twist, creamy mashed potatoes or crispy chips make the meal even more hearty and satisfying.

Chicken and Leek Pie Recipe Delia

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Delia Chicken and Leek Pie

Achieving the perfect Chicken and Leek Pie requires attention to detail. Here are some pro tips to ensure your pie is a success:

  • Use Quality Chicken Stock: Opt for a rich, preferably homemade, chicken stock to enhance the filling’s flavor.
  • Uniform Cutting: Ensure the chicken and leeks are cut into even-sized pieces for consistent cooking and fitting in the pie dish.
  • Gentle Pastry Handling: Avoid overworking the pastry to maintain its flakiness. Roll it out gently and avoid stretching.
  • Egg Wash for Sealing: Brush the pie dish’s rim with beaten egg to help the pastry adhere and seal, preventing filling leakage during baking.
  • Steam Escape Hole: Create a small hole in the center of the pie to let steam escape, preventing the pastry from over-puffing and cracking.

Variations of Delia Chicken and Leek Pie

Experimenting with different ingredients can add a unique twist to your Chicken and Leek Pie:

  • Cheese Addition: Enhance the filling with cheese varieties like cheddar, gruyere, or parmesan for extra creaminess and flavor.
  • Incorporate Bacon or Ham: Adding smoked bacon or ham infuses a delightful smokiness and a hint of saltiness.
  • Mushroom Mix-In: For an earthy, textural element, consider including mushrooms in your filling.
  • Pastry Varieties: Experiment with different types of pastry, such as shortcrust, filo, or phyllo, to explore various textures and appearances in your pie.

How do I store Delia Chicken and Leek Pie Leftovers?

  • If you have any leftover baked pie, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • If you have any leftover unbaked pie, you can wrap it well in cling film and foil, and freeze it for up to 3 months.

How do I reheat Delia Chicken and Leek Pie Leftovers?

  • To reheat leftover baked pie, you can either microwave it for a few minutes or bake it in a preheated oven at 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4) for 15 to 20 minutes, until hot and crisp.
  • To reheat leftover unbaked pie, you can bake it from frozen, adding 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time, and covering the pie with foil if it browns too quickly.

Nutrition value per serving:

  • Calories: 551 kcal
  • Fat: 31.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.8 g
  • Protein: 28.4 g
  • Fiber: 3.4 g
  • Sugar: 7.5 g
  • Sodium: 648 mg

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Can I make Delia Smith’s Chicken and Leek Pie in advance?

Yes, you can prepare this pie ahead of time. The pie filling can be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. If you want to freeze the pie, assemble it without baking and freeze it for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, bake the pie straight from the freezer, adding extra time to ensure it’s cooked through.

Is it possible to use a different type of pastry for this recipe?

Absolutely. While the recipe typically calls for puff pastry, you can experiment with other types like shortcrust, filo, or phyllo pastry. Each type will give a different texture and look to the pie. Shortcrust offers a more traditional pie crust, while filo or phyllo will create a lighter, flakier top.

How can I ensure my pastry doesn’t become soggy?

To prevent a soggy pastry, make sure your filling is not too wet and is cooled before placing it into the pie dish. Also, brushing the bottom of the pastry with a beaten egg or a little melted butter can create a barrier that helps to keep it crisp. Baking the pie in a hot oven initially can also help set the pastry before it becomes soaked by the filling.

How do I make sure the chicken is fully cooked and the leeks are not mushy?

To avoid uncooked meat, you should simmer the chicken in the stock for 15 minutes, or until cooked through, before adding it to the pie filling1. To avoid overcooking the leeks, you should cook them for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned.

Final Words

Delia’s chicken and leek pie is a delicious and easy recipe that you can make for your family or friends. It’s a great way to use up leftover chicken or make a special meal with fresh chicken. The pastry is crisp and buttery, and the filling is creamy and savory. You’ll love the combination of chicken and leek, which is a classic British pairing. Try this recipe today and enjoy a cozy and satisfying pie.

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