chicken and leek pie
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Nigel Slater's Chicken and Leek Pie

Chicken and leeks and bacon in a white sauce flavored by mustard with a Parmesan-crusted top.


  • 1 1/2 pounds of chicken legs and thighs, both on the bone
  • half an onion
  • 8 whole peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • enough milk to cover the chicken pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 slices smoked bacon
  • 2 leeks
  • 3 heaping Tablespoons flour
  • 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
  • a little beaten egg and milk
  • Parmesan cheese


  • Put the chicken pieces in a saucepan and cover with milk, then add the onion, peppercorns and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer partially covered for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and let it cool a bit, then pull apart into plump pieces. Strain the milk and save it.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Melt the butter over low heat in a saucepan while you cut the bacon into small pieces, adding it to the pan as you go. Slice the leeks into roughly 1/3" pieces, washing the pieces well after cutting them. Drain, then add the leeks to the pan. Cook the bacon and leeks about 15 minutes, stirring periodically. They should be totally soft.
  • Stir the flour into the bacon and leeks and cook a few minutes. Then stir in the warm milk, enough to make a thick sauce. Add the chicken pieces, then the mustard and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour the filling into a pie pan or square dish. Lay the puff pastry on top and crimp the edges. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and then sprinkle grated Parmesan on top.
  • Bake about 35 minutes.