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Irish Chicken and Leek Pie: A Hearty Comfort Food Recipe

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Irish cuisine is known for its hearty, comforting dishes that bring together simple ingredients to create robust flavors. One such classic dish is Irish Chicken and Leek Pie, a savory pie that combines tender chicken, flavorful leeks, and a creamy sauce, all encased in a flaky pastry crust. This dish is perfect for cozy family dinners or gatherings with friends, especially during cooler months when a warm, filling meal is most welcome.

Ingredients:

For the Filling:

  • 500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 large leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh thyme leaves, chopped (optional)

For the Pastry:

  • 1 sheet of store-bought puff pastry (or homemade if preferred)
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

Instructions:

Preparing the Filling:

  1. Sautéing the Chicken and Leeks:
    • In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until they are browned on all sides, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
    • In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and minced garlic. Sauté until the leeks are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Making the Sauce:
    • Sprinkle the flour over the leeks and stir well to coat them. Cook for 1-2 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.
    • Gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Allow the mixture to simmer and thicken slightly, about 2-3 minutes.
    • Pour in the heavy cream, stirring continuously until the sauce is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme leaves if using.
  3. Combining the Chicken and Sauce:
    • Return the cooked chicken pieces to the skillet, along with any juices that have accumulated. Stir well to combine everything evenly. Remove from heat and let the filling cool slightly while you prepare the pastry.

Assembling the Pie:

  1. Preparing the Pastry:
    • Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F).
    • Roll out the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface to fit your pie dish. It should be large enough to cover the top with some overhang.
  2. Filling the Pie:
    • Spoon the chicken and leek mixture into the prepared pie dish, spreading it out evenly.
    • Carefully place the rolled-out puff pastry over the top of the filling. Press the edges of the pastry against the sides of the dish to seal, trimming any excess pastry if necessary.
    • Brush the top of the pastry with beaten egg to give it a golden finish when baked.
  3. Baking the Pie:
    • Place the pie in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown.
    • Remove from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Serve and Enjoy:

Irish Chicken and Leek Pie is best served hot, straight from the oven. The creamy filling with tender chicken and flavorful leeks, encased in crisp, flaky pastry, makes for a satisfying meal. Pair it with a side salad or steamed vegetables for a complete dinner experience. This dish not only showcases the simplicity and heartiness of Irish cooking but also brings a sense of warmth and comfort to any table.

Whether you’re looking to explore Irish cuisine or simply craving a delicious homemade pie, Irish Chicken and Leek Pie is sure to become a favorite in your repertoire. Try it for your next family gathering or cozy dinner—it’s bound to be a hit!

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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