One of the highlights of our trip to England last week was a visit to Hampton Court, which is probably best known as a royal residence of King Henry VIII. One of the tours was of the Tudor kitchens which illustrated how the palace worked to feed 600+ people everyday. It was really fascinating.
One of the things we learned about was the invention of savory pies. Apparently the crust, which was just flour & water, was never meant to be eaten, it was just a serving container. You peeled the top off, ate the filling & threw away the pastry bowl. Boy, am I ever glad that's changed! As far as I'm concerned that flaky crust is as important the tasty filling.
This is another recipe from the Jamie Magazine. It was so good. The leeks just have a wonderful sweet flavor from the 30 minutes of cooking. The recipe calls for creme fraiche & we actually bought some for it but I think you could easily use sour cream or yogurt instead. Also it had you drain the gravy from the filling & serve it separately but we found that a totally unnecessary step. Matt thing this would be a great filling for homemade hot pockets.
Chicken & Leek Pie
(adapted from Jamie Magazine)
1 slice bacon, chopped
1 T fresh thyme leaves
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 T unsalted butter
2 large leeks, washed & trimmed. Chop the white end & finely slice the green
salt & pepper
14 oz cooked chicken, cut into chunks
1 heaping T flour
2 c chicken broth
1 T creme fraiche or sour cream or plain yogurt
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Over medium-high heat add the bacon & thyme to a large saucepan. Add the olive oil and butter & cook for a few minutes. Add in the leeks & stir for about 3 minutes to coat everything. Season with salt & pepper. Cover & reduce heat to medium-low. Let cook for 30 minutes stirring from time to time.
Stir the chicken into the leeks. Add the flour & stir again. Pour in the broth & the creme fraiche. Turn the heat up & bring to a boil. Season again if needed. Pour the filling into a large pie pan.
On a floured surface roll the puff pastry out until it is at least 1-inch bigger around on all sides than your pie pan. Trim to it fits over your pan with a 1-inch overhang. Carefully place over the top of the pie & press down the sides. Brush with the beaten egg. With a sharp knife add a few slits in the top of the crust (I forgot to do this & it really puffed up).
Bake for 35 - 40 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
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