James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie is a hearty and comforting dish, perfect for bringing a touch of warmth to any mealtime. This classic recipe combines tender chunks of chicken and soft, flavorful leeks encased in a flaky, golden pastry. It’s a delightful choice for family dinners, gatherings, or simply as a satisfying meal on its own.
What is James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie Recipe?
James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie is a classic British dish, known for its comforting and homely flavors. It’s a savory pie that features a filling of tender chicken pieces and sliced leeks. These ingredients are often cooked in a creamy sauce, which adds richness and depth to the flavor. The filling is then encased in a buttery pastry, which is baked until it’s golden and flaky.
Ideal for serving 4-6 people, this pie can be prepared and cooked in approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
Why You Love this Recipe
There are many reasons to love this recipe, but here are some of the main ones:
- Ease of Preparation: With straightforward steps and common ingredients, this recipe is manageable for cooks of all skill levels.
- Rich and Satisfying Flavor: The combination of chicken, leeks, mushrooms, and a creamy sauce offers a deeply satisfying taste experience.
- Versatility: Feel free to tweak the recipe by substituting different meats, cheeses, or vegetables.
- Perfect for Leftovers: The pie reheats well, making it a practical option for meal planning.
Ingredients Needed to Make James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie
To make this chicken and leek pie, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 50g/2oz butter
- 3 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 leek, washed and sliced
- 250g/9oz mushrooms, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 25g/1oz plain flour
- 300ml/10fl oz chicken stock
- 150ml/5fl oz double cream
- 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry (about 320g/11oz)
- 1 egg, beaten
You’ll also need the following equipment to make this chicken and leek pie:
- A large frying pan
- A wooden spoon
- A pie dish (about 23cm/9in diameter)
- A rolling pin
- A pastry brush
- A sharp knife
- A fork
Instructions to Make James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie
Now that you have all the ingredients and equipment ready, let’s get started with the method. Here are the steps to make James Martin’s chicken and leek pie recipe:
Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the pie dish
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5 and lightly grease the pie dish with some butter or cooking spray.
Step 2: Cook the chicken and set aside
- Melt half of the butter in the frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the chicken for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden and cooked through.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Step 3: Cook the leek, mushrooms, and garlic
- Melt the remaining butter in the same pan and cook the leek, mushrooms, and garlic for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly caramelized.
Step 4: Make the sauce
- Sprinkle the flour over the leek mixture and stir well to combine.
- Gradually pour in the chicken stock, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.
Step 5: Add the cream, mustard, tarragon, salt, and pepper
- Stir in the cream, mustard, tarragon, salt, and pepper, and cook for another 5 minutes, until well combined.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Step 6: Fill the pie dish and cover with pastry
- Spoon the chicken and leek mixture into the prepared pie dish and spread it evenly.
- Unroll the puff pastry sheet and place it over the filling, tucking the edges inside the dish.
- Cut a few slits on top of the pastry to allow steam to escape.
- Brush the pastry with the beaten egg.
Step 7: Bake and serve
- Bake the pie for 20 to 25 minutes, until puffed and golden.
- Let the pie rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Enjoy with a green salad or some steamed vegetables on the side.
Can I Make James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie in Advance?
Absolutely! You can prepare the filling a day ahead and refrigerate it. When you’re ready to bake, simply add the puff pastry top and bake according to the recipe instructions. This can be a great time-saver if you’re planning to serve the pie for a special occasion or a family dinner.
Is It Possible to Use a Different Type of Pastry for the Pie?
Yes, you can. While puff pastry is traditionally used for its flaky texture, you can substitute it with shortcrust pastry for a more biscuit-like texture, or even filo pastry for a lighter, crispier crust. Each type of pastry will give the pie a slightly different texture and flavor.
Can I Make This Pie Vegetarian?
To make a vegetarian version of this pie, you can substitute the chicken with a mix of additional vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and sweet potatoes, or use a meat substitute like Quorn or tofu. Ensure that these substitutes are cooked properly before adding them to the pie filling.
How do I make the sauce thicker or thinner?
If you find the sauce too thin, you can add more flour or cream cheese to thicken it. If you find the sauce too thick, you can add more chicken stock or water to thin it.
How do I prevent the pastry from becoming soggy or burnt?
To prevent the pastry from becoming soggy, make sure to cut some slits on top of the pastry to allow steam to escape, and bake the pie in a preheated oven. To prevent the pastry from becoming burnt, cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil if it browns too quickly, and lower the oven temperature if needed.
How do I make the pie ahead of time or freeze it?
To make the pie ahead of time, you can prepare the filling and the pastry separately, and store them in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake the pie, thaw the filling and the pastry if frozen, assemble the pie, and bake as instructed. To freeze the pie, you can either freeze it before or after baking. If you freeze it before baking, follow the same steps as making it ahead of time, and bake from frozen, adding 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time. If you freeze it after baking, let the pie cool completely, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the pie in the fridge overnight, and reheat in the oven or microwave.
There you have it – a complete guide on how to make James Martin’s chicken and leek pie recipe. This is a delicious and satisfying meal that you can whip up in no time, with simple ingredients and minimal fuss. I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know what you think. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment below. And if you liked this recipe, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family. Thank you for reading and happy cooking!