One of my resolutions for 09 is a commitment to reduce the amount of food thrown out by our family. Last year, my conscience was well and truly pricked on this issue by my green friend Patty, as well as various magazine articles and statistics. Annually, every Australian throws out approximately 145 kg of food, at enormous financial and environmental cost. So in an effort to substantially decrease that figure for our house at least, I am determined to use up as much of our leftovers as possible, either by freezing them to eat later or by using them up in other meals.
This pie was conceived as a way of utilising some chicken that might otherwise have been ignored until it was too old to eat. Leftovers from a roast chicken are mixed into a leek and garlic sauce and then baked under some puff pastry. Easy, delicious and much better than having the chicken land in the bin. This was so nice, it would nearly be worthwhile buying a takeaway chicken just for the purposes of this leftover pie. And next time I will use the full 1 tbl of cornflour - I tried to reduce it and my sauce was too loose. PS I love my blackbird pie vent - it makes me want to sing!
Chicken and Leek Pie
1 tbl olive oil
3 leeks, white part washed and sliced
1 brown onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic
600g leftover chicken, shredded into bite size pieces (feel free to usemore or less depending on what you have)
1 tbl chopped fresh thyme
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbl corn flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tbl of water
Place oil in a pan over medium heat. Add leek, onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent but not brown. Add the thyme and stock and bring to the boil. When reduced by about half, spoon a couple of tbls of the stock mixture into a small bowl, and add the cornflour. Stir cornflour mixture with a fork until all lumps have disappeared, then tip it back into the stock. Add chicken and cook for another minute. Check seasonings, then pour mixture into a pie dish.
Cover the pie dish with the sheet of puff pastry, cutting a criss cross vent (2 cm by 2 cm) in the middle. Pinch the pastry around the edges to seal and cut off any excess. Brush with the egg wash, then bake in a 200C oven for 25-30 mins or until golden brown.