Cock-a-Leekie Pie

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Cock-a-Leekie Pie

Serves: ~2
Cost: ~€3.50
Preparation time: ~40 minutes
Calories: ~900 calories per serving

Shock horror everyone, I didn’t plan this week well at all, I have to say – I wanted to try and switch to a Wednesday/Sunday posting schedule but didn’t actually have anything suitable to post yesterday, and I’ve been so busy – I was planning on cooking something last night – but got caught up with meetings at work and just didn’t have a chance. Despite my failings though I thought that I should probably try and post something today so I raced home from work, dived into the store to buy the needed supplies and launched myself full-force into the kitchen.

With the light rapidly falling I had to get things moving. Of course, which is just typical, I had good evening light for every single step… except for the final photos showing the finished dish – sigh! I’ve tried to tone down the orange glow in the final shots but I hope you get an idea of what it actually looks like! It was actually really good – I haven’t cooked chicken in weeks, and I can’t even remember the last time I made a pie. It also made me yearn for a good steak and mushroom pie (my father actually makes a very good one – I shall have to ask him for his recipe!) because you just can’t beat a good pie – delicious, golden, crispy crust, wonderful filling, be it vegetarian or meaty, a rich sauce – it’s perfect comfort food.

Cock-a-Leekie Pie

I have been promising you some British dishes, so I thought I’d kick things off today with this Scottish-inspired pie. Now, hold on – before you start thinking that it might be some haggis-stuffed monstrosity, it’s actually pretty normal, and to be fair you’ve probably eaten it before, just under a different name. It is effectively a Chicken and Leek pot pie, though the idea is drawn from the Scottish soup “Cock-a-Leekie Soup” – a light broth of leeks in a chicken stock, often with some chicken pieces and, traditionally, sliced prunes – which were said to up the nutritional value of this rather spartan dish. In pie form it’s richer and much more filling. It’s fast to make, and I will admit that this time I used ready-made pastry. I do like to make my own – it’s cheaper of course – but this time I really did want something fast and simple.

I do hope you enjoy the rest of today’s post! As usual I’ll have a video recipe up in a few days (I tend to work on those a few days later) so you can all listen to my voice if you’re having a hard time sleeping one evening and need something to help you catch those “ZZZZ”s. Roll on the weekend, I say! Then I can get back to the kitchen and start working on my… aaaah, I can’t give it away yet. You’ll have to wait and see! Have a good Friday everyone – see you back on Monday!

Cock-a-Leekie Pie

Video Recipe

Ingredients

Cock-a-Leekie Pie ingredients

  • 2 small Chicken breasts
  • 1 Leek
  • 2 tbsps Olive Oil
  • 50g Butter
  • ~6 tbsps Plain Flour
  • ~200ml Milk or ~100ml Milk + ~100ml White Wine
  • A handful of flat-leaf Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Puff Pastry (enough to cover two individual pies or a larger single dish)
  • A little beaten egg or milk for brushing

Instructions

  1. Turn on your oven to preheat to 210 degrees Celsius and then start off by heating the oil in a large pan. Trim and clean the leek thoroughly before slicing it thinly. Place the sliced leek into the oil and fry for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. While the leek is frying slice the chicken into bite-size cubes and once the leek has reduced in size, add in the chicken and sauté quickly, stirring regularly to quickly cook the chicken through. Once this is done, remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
    Sauteing the leeks
  2. Using a new pan, melt the butter and then add in the flour and stir well to form a smooth paste. Allow to cook for a minute or so to enrich the mix to a light caramel colour before adding in the milk, a bit at a time, stirring or whisking well between each addition. Once all the milk is added in, allow to cook for a further 2 or 3 minutes to thicken up adequately and then pour the sauce over the chicken and leek mixture.
    Making the sauce
  3. Salt and pepper the mixture as desired and then roughly chop the parsley. Add to the pan with the sauce and stir well to ensure the chicken, leek, parsley and sauce are well mixed. Divide equally between two individual pie dishes, or one larger dish and then cover with flaky pastry, pressing it into the edges and trimming away the excess.
    Filling the pie dishes



    Topping with pastry
  4. Brush with the extra milk, being sure to brush the edges which will aid adhesion and prevent the “lid” from rising away from the dish while cooking. Feel free to make little decorations with any leftover pastry and “paint them on” with the milk. Finally, place the pies into the oven and bake for ~25 minutes – until the pastry is turning a rich golden brown on top. Serve with a simple side salad and enjoy immediately!
    Cock-a-Leekie Pie



    Cock-a-Leekie Pie

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70 Comments

  1. Hi Charles-I liked your intro-I could almost feel myself racing along with the anticipation!!

    Glad you got to eat some leeks on St David’s Day-or thereabouts!!

    Reply
    • Thanks GD – You know, I actually had no idea it was St. David’s day yesterday, I just looked it up – 1st of March! How’s that for a coincidence?! :o I’m gonna go ahead and tell people that it was planned that way :D

      Reply
  2. :) If you hadn’t mentioned it, I would’ve only shrugged… but when you do mention it, I can see that you’ve tried… and you’ve done a good job at taking pics of the final product without it looking a shocker :)
    Sometimes I put one aside and photograph it the next morning… but I reckon you couldn’t do that… :) Looks great… I love the idea of a “fake” (but it’s real actually) pie, because you reduce the carbs from the dough because you only have a bit on top, and not enveloping the entire filling :)

    Reply
    • Thanks Fati – I like to photograph the next day too, though in this case it would have been no good – I only made two and my wife and I ate them both :D

      I agree – I almost never make a “full” pie these days. Pastry has such massive amounts of calories, so it’s nice to have something a bit lighter :)

      Reply
  3. I know this pie! Now I know where I’d got the idea to make my Turducken Pie … I knew there needed to be leeks in there!
    You’ve managed to get some great shots even with all the rushing around. I particularly like the last pic … I somehow find myself leaning towards it with my mouth open :D

    Reply
    • Thanks Ping – it’s a great pie… you often find them in pubs in England and Scotland. I remember well your turducken pie… I’m really into pies at the moment, I might have to give yours a try next time! :)

      Reply
  4. what a name for a pie!! haha I already love it just from the way it sounds! and looks. that golden pastry on top, yum!

    Reply
    • Thanks Shuhan – I think I definitely prefer the pie version to the soup, which looks a bit weak.

      Reply
  5. You have no idea how much I would like to dive into this pie right now! It looks so warm and comforting. I bet Mr. N would even gobble this up. Miss A…not so sure. She’s picky about chicken. I suppose I could always serve it with a side of ketchup. LOL. ;) And I can completely relate about the week getting away from you. I have to get back to cooking again too. Looking forward to your next recipe as always and I’d love to see your dad’s steak and mushroom pie recipe sometime too.

    Reply
    • Thanks Kristy – it’s a lovely pie – golden, crispy crust and saucy centre. You don’t think Miss A would like it? Is it the leek she’s not a fan of? It’s not a strong flavour, and you can adjust the quantity down if you like… or of course just serve it with a big dollop of ketchup :D

      I’ll definitely get that steak and mushroom pie up one day, though this weekend I have other plans :D

      Reply
  6. I love cock a leekie soup and I love pie – so this sounds amazing. Soup and pie in one course! Seriously, lovely recipe and I think the shots are wonderful, very appetising :)

    Reply
    • Thanks Chica – I never tried the soup actually… it looks a bit “thin”, though I guess if you have a really good stock then it’s probably pretty good!

      Reply
  7. Charles, I love cock-a-leekie soup and, you’re right, you just can’t beat a good pie. I make chicken pot pie a lot during winter. It is so warming! I usually just use regular pie crust, but you’ve inspired me to use puff pastry next time. Oh no, now I’m hungry–thanks a lot! :D

    Reply
    • Thanks Jean – I love puff pastry on savoury pies – especially with a good sauce underneath where the bottom layer sucks up all the flavours! :)

      Reply
  8. Charles, this is definitely something I would adore. I love both chicken and leek tart or quiche is among my favourite tarts/quiches. You have just reminded me I have always wanted to try this cute British way of making pies: without the bottom, but with a pastry lid.

    Reply
    • Thanks Sissi – it’s a good way of reducing the carbs in a pie, while still having it nicely encapsulated in pastry and the shell (dish). I hope you’re able to give it a try sometime – I’m sure you could enhance it in many wonderful ways :)

      Reply
  9. Never mind the week getting away, the month of February got away from me.
    Would substituting a layer of mashed potato for the pie crust work?
    Your photos are lovely, see nothing wrong with the last one.

    Reply
    • Hi Norma, I never tried it with mashed potato I have to day, but I’m sure it would be worth a try. Thanks for your compliments :)

      Reply
  10. These look delicious, Charles. Leeks tend to be ridiculously expensive in Toronto so whenever I see them on sale I buy a couple of bunches and slice them up onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment, and freeze them. Then when they have sufficiently frozen, I dump them into a zip lock baggie. Now I have leeks whenever I want. Anything with béchamel and puff pastry would be uncontrollably delicious!

    Reply
    • Hi Eva – are they expensive at all times of the year? I’m so used to them being so cheap, and easily available here – I forget sometimes that they might not be so easy to get a hold of in other places. Great idea, to freeze them though – must be nice to have a load of ready-prepared leeks on hand at any time :)

      Reply
  11. Charles, you doth protest too much. Honestly, I would not have even noticed the absence of light – you’re too hard on yourself… this pie looks fantastic! And I think it’s a great one to kick-off your British tour ;). What an interesting title too ;)… I suspect we are talking about a rooster (male chicken). I think leeks rock and I was just preparing a write-up about the health benefits of the allium family :). Have a great weekend Charles!

    Reply
    • Thanks Kelly, you’re too kind :) Indeed – we are talking about a rooster, don’t worry about that :D

      Looking forward to reading about the allium family benefits :)

      Reply
  12. A funny name, I had no idea what this recipe was about! I’ve had a pot pie before but not quite like this. Looks great, I bet you can freeze them for later.

    Reply
    • Thanks Lisa, the title is funny, isn’t it :) I’m not sure how well the pastry would freeze, but you could definitely freeze the filling. Defrost, cover with some ready-made pastry and you’re good to go :)

      Reply
  13. We always get way too many leeks from the farm in the winter and spring. This may help us use one or two. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Thanks Sharyn – leeks are so awesome. I always feel like they’re a “super awesome version” of an onion :D

      Reply
  14. This almost reminds me of a chicken pot pie.. but a little bit better. And don’t worry about the orange glow, it actually makes me want to try it out.. and I don’t even like chicken pit pie lol.

    Reply
    • Thanks Kay – I’m surprised you’re not a fan of chicken pot pie – I always thought you loved chicken. Perhaps not a fan of the pastry?

      Reply
  15. Beautiful, Charles. Love the name and love the looks and simplicity of this pie. Wish I had one for dinner, but maybe later this weekend!

    Reply
    • Thanks Betsy – it was a great dish – I hope you have a chance to try it :)

      Reply
  16. A gorgeous pie … love the top, the inside. A winner all the way around.

    Reply
    • Thanks A_Boleyn – my wife really loved it :)

      Reply
  17. Hmmm… this looks so comforting! Would have been perfect for my dinner tonight especially with the snow falling in the background. P.S.: Your pic turned out fine, I know what you mean though about racing to get some natural lights! I can’t wait until the days are longer and we have more light for pictures :)

    Reply
    • Thanks Yudith – soon our clocks will go forward and so we will have more light in the evening – that will help a LOT with the photography in the evening :)

      I hope you have a chance to try the pie sometime – it’s a great dish :)

      Reply
  18. Oh, these look fabulous!!!! Even picky hubby would go for this entree…so glad you’re saving the haggis for another day ;) Have a great weekend~

    Reply
    • Thanks Liz – yeah, by “another day” I actually meant “another lifetime” :D Nah, I kid – it’s actually not as bad as it sounds. I tried it once or twice and quite enjoyed it :)

      Reply
  19. This is one of those recipes that you have to make if for no other reason than to be able to say “I made a Cock-a-Leekie Pie”! :) Love the name! I have to admit that I am guilty of each those storebought chicken pot pies when I was a kid and through the first few years of marriage. I loved them because they were so comforting. So yes, there is nothing more comforting than a savory pie! I love everything about this one! It looks delicious and your pictures really sell it. Great job Charles!

    Reply
    • Thanks MJ – you’re too kind :) I going to make, and post my father’s steak and mushroom pie next time I make a pie – I think he adds guinness or red wine or something – it’s very enjoyable :)

      Reply
  20. what ever your light conditions were, your pie looks good and very appetizing. I know the feeling when u have to hurry up just so that u can make a picture in the day light (and here before the moskitos turn to vampires), always a stressful story, but I feel u did a great job! I honestly dont know any scotish cooking. ok I do know english cooking a bit such as puddings and fish and chips, but thats pretty much it. Glad to see some british food feeling here. surely lots to learn for me!

    thx charles for sharing!

    Reply
    • Thanks Helene :) Ack, mosquitoes! I’d forgotten all about them – we’ll be coming up to mosquito season soon. The only way I can survive is fully rubbing myself down in a mosquito repellent which I can only find in Sweden. There’s been mornings when I’ve woken up with my legs and chest covered in their damn bites. One day, I’ve even had them on my forehead and nose… grr (not to mention the ear-lobes!!!).

      I’ll be cooking up some things tomorrow – looking forward to sharing them :)

      Reply
  21. You should agree with everyone! I think the photos were fine too, and indeed it made me want to make this (that means you did a great job!). I love leeks and pies…and therefore this is perfect recipe for me! Go to send this recipe to myself! Thanks Charles!

    Reply
    • Thanks Nami – generally, most of the photos turned out ok. The light was good when I started. The problem is, alas, you can’t take the photos of the end parts first, lol :D

      I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try though! Have a great weekend :)

      Reply
  22. Happy St. David’s Day Charles. A perfect happy accidental post. Your pie crust looks so flaky. A great day to top off your busy day. Take Care,BAM

    Reply
    • Thanks Bam – I can’t believe I had no idea it was St. David’s day and I post this… talk about coincidences :) Hope you’re having a great weekend :)

      Reply
  23. Charles, I love the name of this pot pie. Yes, that is what we call here in Flroida. Sounds delicous too. You last photo looks good to me. Do you turn your clocks ahead like we do in the States. We turn them ahead March 11th. I always look forward to that. In the summer months it doesn’t get dark ometimes until nearly 9pm. Have a lovely weekend.

    Reply
    • Hi Suzi – indeed, we will change our clocks soon too – I love it because in the summer here, around June or so it doesn’t start getting dark until 9 – 9.30 and isn’t finally dark until 10pm. Can’t wait :)

      Reply
  24. I have not made a pie in ages! I really need to change that. I love how comforting they are

    Reply
    • Thanks Sawsan – pies are great, I’m really into them at the moment, even if they are more of a wintery dish :)

      Reply
  25. Hi Charles, you know I’ve been thinking of making a leek tart for weeks now (keep buying leeks, but finally use them for something else instead). This looks more time efficient than the recipe I’ve had, so I’m quite intrigued to make it (plus with chicken involved my husband won’t complain I’m depriving him of meat)

    Reply
    • Thanks Gourmantine – it’s really good with some white wine if you have it, so I’d recommend that part! I hope you enjoy it :)

      Reply
  26. WOW! These sound amazing, Charles! I love leeks they are so delicious and good for you, too :) I am going to try this for sure, thanks!

    Reply
    • Thanks Sydney – leeks have a wonderful flavour, it’s true – I hope you enjoy this :)

      Reply
  27. This looks amazing! I love making pies, but I have a thing with chicken pot pies. For some reason, the top crusts of all my chicken pot pies never end up baking up and end up soggy and pale. Your crusts look amazing though, so flaky and golden. Maybe I haven’t been using the right kind of baking pan?

    Reply
    • Thanks Kyleen – I can’t imagine why your crust ends up being soggy – Maybe your oven isn’t hot enough? Try making some cuts in the pastry to allow steam to escape, and baking it at almost the hottest temperature, if you don’t already – around 220 degrees Celsius!

      Reply
  28. Charles, I don’t know how you do it? I just can’t seem to manage the process of cooking, taking pictures, writing and posting on a weeknight. You pulled this one off beautifully — there’s no hint of the rush behind the scenes to pull this one off. Love the name of this dish…it makes you smile before you even take a bite. What could be better than that?

    Reply
    • Thanks Barb – usually I try to do my cooking adventures on the weekend, but I was really disorganised last week. I’m looking forward to the summer months – it will really give me so much more time to cook and photograph in the evenings… much less stressful! :)

      Reply
  29. Bravo! A job well done and delicious sounding as well. We all understand about the light. I haven’t had natural light in so long, but each day does get a little longer.

    Reply
    • Thanks Karen – yeah, I like to have something to complain about though. In 4 months I’ll be moaning that it’s too hot all the time :p Sigh… such is life :D

      Reply
  30. Hold on, I have to do something… hee, hee, hee. OK, the name is just, well brilliant. But so is the recipe!

    Reply
    • lol :D Nice to see you have the same sense of humour as me :D

      Reply
  31. I love chicken and leek pies. I love how you’ve made individual pies – that reminds me of pies in British pubs. These look like the ultimate in comfort food.

    Reply
    • Hi Charlie – I always think individual pies are the way to go – you get more pastry that way too… yum :D

      Reply
  32. I can so relate to your rushing to take photos before dark!! It’s so hard for me to prepare dishes and take the photos during the week that I have to wait for the weekends to do it all! These look really good though, I love using leeks, their always a bit more costly here but well worth it.

    Reply
    • Hi Linda – it’s too bad leeks are more expensive where you are. I mean, they’re not as cheap as, say, onions, but they pretty dirt cheap here. I forget that other people might not have the same prices for fruit and veg sometimes. It’s getting lighter though, so hopefully I’ll be able to relax a bit more in the evenings :)

      Reply
  33. I am so with you on the photography bit — i feel so rushed as soon as its 4pm! Love these individual pies :)

    Reply
    • Thanks Kiran – roll on longer days – not long now until summer :)

      Reply
  34. When I traveled to England for a study abroad a few years ago, I fell in love with the food there! I love their savory pies, and miss them excessively! This is a delicious looking recipe that I already know I’ll love!

    Reply
    • Hi Beth – I had no idea you’d been here. We have some great pies – I hope you got the chance to try a really good steak and mushroom pie! So nice :)

      Reply
      • I think I had a mushroom, pea and chicken pie (DELICIOUS!) but I’ll have to try the steak and mushroom next time I’m there (THIS SPRING!)

        Reply