Chicken and Leek Pasties

Chicken and Leek Pasty Recipe

Pasties are the classic British portable lunch – much like calzoni in Italy – the most famous variety of which is almost certainly the Cornish pasty. They are eaten all over the UK and sold in every bakery from Land’s End to John o’Groats – the two points farthest from one another on our great island (876 miles). Considered Cornwall’s “national” dish and geographically protected – much like champagne – the pasty is thought to have been taken up outside of England’s western most county following the emigration of Cornish miners in the late nineteenth century, along with Rugby Union. As good as this spread of British culinary tradition to the diaspora is for receiving countries, I can’t help but feel the South Pacific countries have become a little too good at rugby.

Chicken and leek is another classic pasty filling, one that’s generally lighter and used in a wide array of pastries and pies. Leeks have a delicious and robust flavour that pairs extremely well with chicken, particularly the more flavoursome brown meat. Indeed, if making these pasties I recommend roasting a whole chicken beforehand, saving the breast meat for curries and stews (it tends to be a little drier), using the carcass to make a large pot of chicken stock and employing the brown meat where its texture and flavour can be best appreciated. Naturally, a creamy filling accompanies leek and chicken – gravy would simply smother the flavour. A simple béchamel sauce seemed most appropriate as a result of its viscosity – we wouldn’t want soggy parcels, now would we?

Chicken and Leek Pasty Recipe

Many different varieties of pastry can be used in the baking of pasties – rough puff, short crust, filo – any will do. However, as someone who likes to stick roughly to tradition, hot water crust pastry is my personal choice. Being made with hot water it can be a rather tricky pastry to handle, though it is incredibly quick to make – far faster than short crust, which isn’t exactly notorious for excessive time consumption. For basic recipes like this, Jamie Oliver always seems to come up with the goods and he does so again here. Of course, I’ll give you the recipe in full below – but credit where it’s due!

Local connection: Where possible, invest in well-sourced and ethically produced meat bought from a local supplier. As usual, we purchased out chicken from Source in Bristol – if you’re in the area it comes highly recommended!

Chicken and Leek Pasties

Makes 6

Ingredients:

for the pastry:

• 125g salted butter

• 150ml hot water

• 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

• ½ tbsp salt

• 1 medium egg, beaten

• A handful of ground polenta

for the filling:

• 200g chicken

• 2 leeks, finely chopped

• Olive oil

• 1 clove of garlic, mashed

• Small knob of butter

• 1 tbsp plain flour

• 300ml whole milk

• A little freshly grated nutmeg

• Salt

Method:

1. Bring the water and butter to a boil in a saucepan, remove from heat and stir in flour and salt. Beat until you have a dough – turn out onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. Pop into the fridge for 30 minutes or so.

2. Meanwhile, sauté the leeks and garlic in a little olive oil. Once translucent, add the chicken and heat through.

3. In a separate pan melt a small knob of butter, stir in the plain flour and cook for a minute, stirring. Tip in the milk and nutmeg and whisk until thick and creamy. Add to the chicken mixture.

4. After 30 minutes has elapsed roll out your pastry on a floured surface until around 0.5cm thick. Cut into six circles of around 15cm diameter. Scatter a baking tray with polenta, place the pastry circles on top and fill each with a little of the mixture. Preheat the oven to 180C.

5. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg, fold the pastry in half, enclosing the mixture. Press the edges down and crimp between thumb and finger. Baste each with a little egg and scatter over the remaining polenta. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown – serve with a side salad.

Chicken and Leek Pasty Recipe

Cost: Being mainly composed of flour and butter, almost every type of pastry is inherently frugal. This means that in this recipe the filling is the main source of expense, the cost of which can be reduced considerably by roasting a whole chicken and storing the meat for later. Indeed, after employing that course of action these pasties set us back a mere £4.50 – for enough to feed six!

72 thoughts on “Chicken and Leek Pasties

  1. spree

    A lovely recipe, Nick, ditto the photos and a much-needed education on pasties (which, ’til now, I believed were the sole purview of those bouncy ladies in burlesque shows.) :D

  2. livliveslife

    Ohhh my goodness, I love pasties. The only kind my family ever makes is traditional (beef) from a recipe my great great grandmother brought over from England. However, I’ll definitely have to try this version soon! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Linne

    Hello, my friend! I have awarded you the “Very Inspiring Blogger” award. Please see my post today for information. (Note that you may use short answers to the seven questions; I just never know when to stop!). You SO deserve this award, for you, like the other recipients, have inspired me many times. :-) ~ Linne

  4. strawberryquicksand

    How nice! I made a pastie-inspired sausage roll recently and was looking for other fillings to use. (read: pastie inspired… read: too damned lazy to make the pastry and make pasties… easier to defrost a sheet of puff and stick the filling in and roll er up…) The only thing I am quizzical about regarding your recipe (well, okay, two things. I just thought of another). Is the chook cooked before use, or did you use raw chicken? And is it the roux that binds the filling properly? I think your recipe sounds delish!
    Cheers,Yvette :)

    1. frugalfeeding Post author

      I’ve been thinking of making sausage rolls too! The chicken is cooked before use, but raw chicken in smallish chunks would also be fine. It is the roux that binds it! Thanks!

  5. narf77

    This is right up Steve’s alley. I make a mean shortcrust pastry and pasties are one of Steve’s favourite ways to eat crispy buttery crust. Your filling looks nice and creamy without being too runny and I am going to give it a go…”Stock” and “Pot” are starting to crow more than they should and it might be time for a night time raid on their roost ;)

  6. Juls

    It’s been a while since I had the time to properly read all the blog updates I’ve wanted to but now it’s the holidays and I’m having a good indulge. Can I say how amazing your blog is looking? Your pictures and the design are all looking amazingly steller and it’s refreshing and fun to get back to reading your corking dry wit and cheek :P

  7. Jude

    This isn’t just a comment about these wonderful pasties. I have to say that I just love 99% of the recipes you put up, but sometimes don’t have enough time to comment. I follow too many blogs! Suffice to say this is a fabulous blog and thank you for all the great recipes which I will eventually try!

  8. Karista

    I love Pasties! Here in the South we call them fried pies. :) Usually filled with peaches, apples or some sort of fruit or pudding. But I do prefer them savory and these chicken and leek Pasties look delicious. My kind of Pastie. Love the new site Frugal! :)

  9. Natalie Ward

    I love your new look it’s really clean & clear! Those pictures are beautiful too, I especially like the polenta makes you want to touch them. I’ve always wanted to try a hot water pastry ever since I saw Andy Bates make one, looks so quick & easy. I’m thinking of trying it with olive oil, do you know what the point of the hot water is btw? I’m thinking leek & mushroom filling, yum!

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