Chicken, tarrogan, and leek pie

Golden crust of JOY!
Golden crust of JOY!

This pie is AMAZING. Honestly, it’s one of the most delicious, hearty, warming, indulgent, creamy, flavoursome pies in the world. I can say that because it’s not my recipe – it’s by the amazingly talented (and incredibly lovely) Laura Pope, who wrote it for those nice people at Comte cheese. I’ve made it a couple of times and it is now a firm favourite. And it’s not difficult to make at ALL.

You can buy Comte at nice cheese shops, good supermarkets, online, and at posh markets such as Borough Market in London.

For four people, you need:

  • 1 small chicken, roasted
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1 leek, trimmed, washed, cut in half vertically then sliced finely
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 140ml double cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon leaves
  • 100g Comté cheese, grated
  • 500g pack of all butter puff pastry
  • 1 free range egg, beaten
  1. Heat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan oven).
  2. Tear the chicken flesh from the bone in large chunks and discard the skin and bones.
  3. Heat the butter in a large pan and add the leeks. Cook for 5 minutes or so, until softened and lightly coloured. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute, before gradually adding the milk.
  4. Add the cream and simmer until the sauce thickens, then stir in the chicken, tarragon and Comté.
  5. Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin and cut 4 circles big enough to cover 4 small pie dishes (or you can do one big pie).
  6. Divide the mixture between the dishes and brush the rims with beaten egg.
  7. Lift the pastry on to the pie(s), trimming off any excess. Press down and crimp the edges with a fork. Cut a couple of slits in the pastry to let the steam out and brush all over with the rest of the egg. You can use leftover pastry to make pretty shapes or letters as I did in the photo. :)
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (or 30 to 40 minutes if doing one big pie), until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.

Enjoy with mash and green veggies! :)