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Aug 25

The Cooks’ Club Challenge : Chicken, Leek & Potato Pie

 

Chicken Leek and Potato Pie1 copy

 

 

 

So, the days are zooming by ever so quickly now. The night comes quicker and stays for longer as well. That all too familiar nip in the night air warns me I will soon be living in my hooded jumper once again. Hard to believe that only a couple weeks ago I was frolicking in the ocean, beneath a dazzlingly blue sky with no cover from the sun along the coast of Croatia. I lived on a diet of octopus salads and iced tea. It was pure bliss. Now back in the Netherlands however, let’s just say the days are turning more towards the favour of Doopey (my dog). During the day it gets to a max temperature of 23ºC, and at night it can get as low as 13ºC. So I ask myself, is this the end to summer eating? Nah, not just yet … don’t drag out the old slow cooker just yet. Food can still be lite yet comforting during these last days of summer sunshine.

 

 

Today I am taking a leaf out of my favourite recipe website, Taste.com.au , and I am jumping on the Monthly Challenge band wagon. It’s a softer version of the Daring Bakers’ challenge; I have to admit I am a touch too daunted to commit myself to that one. It seems rather intense. Therefore, I am starting out slow with this months Taste.com Cook’s Club Challenge ~ Comfort Foods.

 

 

The rules are fairly relaxed as it is aimed at encouraging people to get up and cook healthy home-cooked meals by following the recipes on their website. The theme for August is comfort food, and a link is provided that takes you to the page where all their comfort food recipes are available in one handy click. You get to choose any recipe, either cook it  exactly as stated in the recipe or make your own little twists, then post a photo to the forum thread. At the end of the month two winners are chosen ~ one from the cooking challenge and one from the baking challenge ~ and they’ll be sent a prize each. Of course this competition is only open to people living in Australia, so that rules me out, but I am going to do this anyway as a personal challenge to get me cooking different things and to up my game in the kitchen. I find I tend to drift easily and lose focus quickly, so this will hopefully circumvent the issue and help me find inspiration to keep my blog fresh.

 

 

To get started, prep all your ingredients and set them aside. Peel and dice the potatoes; wash the leeks thoroughly and slice into half moons. In the original recipe pre-cooked chicken breast is used, but I am partial to using chicken thigh fillets in pies, so that’s what I am using today. Trim any excess fat and then dice the fillets roughly the same size as the potatoes.

 

 

 

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Ingredients

 

  • 2 cups diced chicken thigh fillets
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
  • 300g waxy potatoes, diced
  • 100 g butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • crushed black pepper
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (pre-rolled)
  • eggwash

 

 

Melt butter in a pot and sweat out the leeks on low heat. Takes about 5 – 7 minutes. Then add the minced garlic and give everything a good stir.

 

Add flour and mix to combine, making sure none catches on the bottom of the pan. Cook out the rawness for about 3 minutes then add cold milk. The mixture will thicken very quickly, and once this happens add the chicken stock.

 

Add all the potatoes into the pot and simmer gently until the mixture thickens and the potatoes are tender. After about 10 mins, turn off the heat and stir in the cheese. Set aside to cool.

 

 

Meanwhile, season the chicken pieces with a pinch of thyme, onion powder, salt and pepper. Then sautée in a pan to brown in batches. Once you have done all the chicken, remove from the pan and set aside on a plate. Allow time for both the potatoes + leek, and the chicken pieces to cool before mixing them together, and then transfer them all to a baking dish.

 

 

 

Chicken Leek and Potato Pie

 

 

 

Unroll the puff pastry and drape over the baking dish. Brush with eggwash. Trim the edges and snip a few steam vents into the pastry. Pop into a pre-heated oven and bake at 180ºC for 40 minutes or until the pastry top is golden and crisp.

 

 

 

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Allow to rest for at least 15 – 20 mins before cutting into the pie and serving. This enables the filling to cool down and the sauce to thicken. This pie is perfect for a nice lunch served along with a side salad.

 

 

 

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~ Enjoy ~

 

 

 

 

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