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Ingredients

  • Filling
  • 2 leeks, tender white part only. Remove the coarse outer layers
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 500g chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 small lemon, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves, torn
  • salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50g butter
  • rounded 1/3 cup (70g) plain flour
  • 50ml cream or milk
  • Pastry
  • 2 cups (250g) plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200g salt reduced butter, diced, slightly chilled (not too cold)
  • 3 tbs sour cream
  • 1 tsp cold water (only if needed)

Method

  1. The filling
  2. Attach the slicer shredder to the stand mixer. Fit the slicing drum and position the mixing bowl under the chute of the slicer. Turn mixer to speed 6 and slice leeks, carrot and celery.
  3. Place the chicken in a large, deep frying pan and cover with 750ml of water. Add the lemon, bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Gently cook for 8 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Drain the stock and reserve 500ml. Dice chicken into small pieces.
  4. Melt butter in a large saucepan; add sliced vegetables and cook, partially covered for 8 minutes or until well softened. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute. Add the reserved chicken stock and continue stirring until the sauce boils and thickens. Add the diced chicken and cream or milk and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and allow to thoroughly cool (see note below).
  5. The pastry
  6. Add the flour and salt to the mixing bowl of the stand mixer. Attach the flat beater and the pouring shield. Turn to speed 2 and mix thoroughly.
  7. Increase to speed 4 and begin adding the butter, a few pieces at a time. Ensure each addition is fully incorporated before adding more. Mix for about 2 minutes or until the mixture looks like course breadcrumbs. Add the sour cream and mix for 40 seconds or until a dough just begins to form. If the mixture looks dry, add the cold water.
  8. Remove the dough from the mixer and bring together with your hands, kneading lightly, to form a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate and leave for 20 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan forced).
  10. Using about 2/3 of the dough in between two sheets of baking paper, roll out a large circle, approximately 27cm in diameter. Press the pastry circle into a lightly greased, 20cm non-stick spring form pan, allowing the pastry to come about three-quarters of the way up the sides. Add the cooled filling. Press a 'baking bird' into the middle of the filling.
  11. Roll out the remaining third of the dough into a circle, approximately 20 cm in diameter. Cover the pie with the pastry sheet, having first cut a cross in the middle of the sheet to fit over the 'baking bird'. Press and crimp the edges together.
  12. Bake for 40 minutes or until crisp and golden. Release the sides of the pan and remove.

Tips

  • The pie filling must be cool before adding to the pastry or the pastry will become soggy. The filling can be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated.
  • Pie 'birds' are traditionally used for pie making and are available from specialty cookware stores. They prevent the pastry sinking into the centre. If you do not have one, a small, ceramic espresso cup or similar can be used.
  • The pie can be decorated with pastry leaves before baking. Attach them using a little milk.
  • If desired, salt flakes and freshly ground, black pepper can be scattered over the pie before serving.