Friday, January 29, 2010

Make Ahead Chicken and Leek Pie

I normally don't do multiple pictures, but I just couldn't resist; this make ahead meal was just so pretty.  I've always wanted to use leeks instead of onions, but I just hadn't gotten around to it.  Then I spotted one lonely bunch of leeks at the grocery store this week.  They looked so pretty, I just had to buy them.  The leeks look like large green onions, and once you cut into them, you can see they have many thin layers.  Even raw, they have a mild, appealing aroma and once they are cooked, they retain a beautiful, spring-green hue. They were perfect for this chicken pie. 

The Ingredients
The Filling:
1/4 cup butter, divided
2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved, rinsed and sliced
1 cup carrots, cut thinly
1/3 cup flour
1/4 white wine
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups flour

The Topping:
4 tsp baking powder
1/4/ tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold
1 1/2 cups milk
salt and pepper

At Ten O'Clock
In large pan, melt 1/4 cup butter (4 Tbsp)over medium heat.  Add the leeks and carrot.  Saute until veggetables are soft.  Sprinkle with the 1/3 cup flour.  Mix well and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the wine and broth.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, and reduce heat.  Simmer for ten minutes.  Add the chicken and peas.  Season with salt and pepper.  Put in 2 quart baking dish.  Refrigerate until ready to bake.

In small bowl, mix the 2 cups flour, baking soda and salt.  Cover and set aside until ready to bake.

Before Serving
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Make the topping.  Cut the 1/2 cup butter into small cubes.  Add to the flour mixutre and cut with a pastry blender until crumbly.  Add the milk and stir until just combined.  Cover the filling with large heaping spoonfuls of the topping.  Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.  (I had to cook mine for about 35-40 minutes.  If the topping is browning too quickly, cover it with tin foil.)

Family Approval
 Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm!  This was delicious.  Everything about it was perfect.  The biscuit topping turned out wonderful, and the sauce was divine.  This is definately my favorite meal I've made so far this year.  The filling would be perfect in a traditional pot pie with a crust on top, and the topping would make moist, flakey biscuits on it's own.  That said, the filling and the topping are just right together.  The biscuit topping was easier to make than pie crust..  I think the filling was as good, if not better, than any pot pie I've ever had anywhere.  Leeks may be my new favorite ingredient.  


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