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    Cock-a-leekie pie

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    Cock-a-leekie pie

    This pie takes notes from the classic Scottish soup. Sweet prunes and leeks balance the smoked bacon, enhancing the rich chicken sauce.

    • Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus chilling and cooling
    • Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 55 minutes, plus chilling and cooling

    Serves: 6-8

    Ingredients

    1 tbsp olive oil
    200g smoked bacon lardons
    2 large leeks, sliced
    2 bay leaves
    1 large carrot, cut into half moons
    3 tbsp madeira
    60g unsalted butter
    80g plain flour
    1 litre fresh chicken stock
    3 tbsp single cream
    450g cooked chicken (from a roughly 1.3kg chicken, roasted or poached), torn into bite-sized pieces
    10 soft prunes, roughly chopped

    PASTRY
    225g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
    450g plain flour
    2 eggs, separated

    Method

    1. For the pastry, rub the butter into the flour with a pinch of salt until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and 2-4 tbsp very cold water. Using a palette knife, cut into the mixture until it starts coming together. When it begins to form big clumps, bring it together with your hands (sprinkle water on any dry patches). Shape 1 /3 of the pastry into a disc and the remainder into another disc; wrap both in foil or reusable food wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, for the filling, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Cook the lardons over a low-medium heat until they have released their fat and begun to turn golden (about 5 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lardons to a large bowl and set aside. Add the leeks, bay leaves and carrot to the pan, season and cook for 10-15 minutes until the leeks are soft. Add the madeira and bubble for 4 minutes. Tip the vegetables into the bowl with the lardons.

    3. Return the pan to the heat and melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add the stock, a little at a time, stirring, until incorporated. Simmer until reduced by ½. Mix in the cream; season. Stir in the cooked vegetables, lardons, chicken and prunes. Cool for at least 30 minutes.

    4. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6; preheat a baking tray. On a surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out the larger pastry disc to about 35cm in diameter. Carefully use it to line the base and sides of a 26cm metal pie dish, leaving a small overhang. Spoon in the filling. Brush the overhanging pastry with a little beaten egg white. Roll out the smaller pastry disc into a 27cm circle. Lay it over the filling and press the pastry edges together; crimp with a fork.

    5. Brush the pie lid with more beaten egg white and use a sharp knife to make 2-3 airholes. Bake for 45 minutes on the preheated tray. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before serving with some wilted greens, if liked.

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, October 2019 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue

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