Nothing says comfort as clearly as the smell of a pie baking in the oven; and nothing else is as guaranteed to impress your family and friends as this sumptuous chicken and leek pie arriving at the table.
Find out how to care for your heirloom pots and pans with our Cast Iron Masterclass then scroll on down for this delicious chicken and leek skillet pie recipe.
CAST IRON MASTERCLASS
Treat your cast iron cookware the right way and you will be handing it down to your grandchildren. These tough and durable pieces are the original kitchen heirlooms.
What’s in the picture?
- Le Creuset Signature cast-iron round casserole in cerise
- Victoria seasoned cast iron skillet
- Victoria enamelled cast iron Dutch oven
- Maxwell & Williams Caviar sauce dish in black
- Le Creuset Signature cast iron skillets, 20cm and 26cm, in cerise
- Salisbury & Co chef tea towel in navy blue
How do I clean my cast iron cookware?
Okay, let’s get this question over and done with, as lots of people worry about how to care for their cast iron pan or Dutch oven. It’s actually very easy: the key thing to remember is not to leave it overnight soaking in the sink — it’s not a disaster if you do, but not best practice.
Ideally, wipe the pan immediately after cooking with a damp kitchen towel, or wash with warm water if needed, and once it is clean, dry it immediately before finishing with a light coat of oil. It is very important to cool a hot pan for a few minutes before washing, as enamelled cast iron cookware can crack if plunged into cold water straight off the heat.
How do I cook with cast iron cookware?
Slow and steady wins the cast iron race so please heat and cool your cookware slowly. Cast iron retains heat, which is the key to how well it cooks: it’s a great choice for searing a piece of fillet steak to medium-rare in a skillet, or for braising a casserole that needs to spend hours slow cooking in a Dutch oven.
Cast iron tips and tricks?
Never preheat your cookware to extremely high heat, because it holds the temperature so well you may end up burning your food. Heat it to the desired temperature slowly. Never place your dish on the floor of your oven as it may overheat. Always dry well and store in a well-ventilated area.
What’s the best thing about cast iron?
There are many good things, but the fact it can move from the stovetop into the
oven is hard to go past. It’s the secret of the classic French tarte Tatin — named
for the sisters Tatin, but that’s another story — which is so easy to make once
you have the right cast iron pan in your pot drawer.
Simply caramelise quartered apples with butter and sugar on the stovetop, then cover them with a sheet of pastry and pop it into the oven until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and flip onto a serving plate.
And finally, did you know this?
You should use cast-iron cookware as often as you can: it simply gets better with age!
CHICKEN AND LEEK PIE RECIPE
With its golden, buttery pastry and tender chunks of chicken, who could resist a slice? This chicken and leek skillet pie is the perfect dish for a cold autumn evening.
- Cast iron skillet (we used this)
- Chef’s knife (we used this)
- Pie funnel (we used this)
- Oven mitts (we used this)
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 60 minutes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 800g chicken thighs, trimmed and diced
- 2 tbsp flour
- 150g pancetta, diced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 brown onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 thyme sprigs, picked
- 4 leeks, halved, washed and sliced
- 80ml ( cup) dry white wine
- 180ml (3⁄4 cup) chicken stock
- 125ml (1⁄2 cup) cream
- 2 tbsp chives, chopped
- 1 sheet shortcrust pastry, defrosted
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Heat the oil in a 25cm skillet over medium-high heat. Dust the chicken with flour and cook in two batches, turning until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Return the pan to the heat and fry the pancetta until well rendered and crispy. Remove the pancetta using a slotted spoon. Add the butter to the rendered pancetta oil and sauté the onion, garlic, thyme and leek. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until the leek has softened.
- Return the chicken and pancetta to the pan and deglaze with the wine.
- Allow to cook for 1 minute before adding the stock and cream.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken the sauce. Remove from heat, stir through the chives and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set the pan aside for
10 minutes to cool.
- Lay the pastry sheet over the skillet. Trim the pastry so there is a 2cm border
all around. Fold the edge under itself and crimp to seal. Use the pastry offcuts to decorate the surface of the pie. Cut a few small slits in the pastry or use a pie funnel so the steam can escape and then glaze with the egg.
- Put the pan on a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling around the edges.
HINT: Serve your chicken and leek pie with a crisp green salad or sauteed seasonal greens.
Want more cosy comfort food? Try these recipes: