Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Chicken and Leek Pies with Scrunched and Buttery Filo Tops (Simmone Logue)

Me baking chicken pies again? Yes because we really like eating homely chicken pies for our dinners and so far I have made all these different kinds of chicken pies:

- The always our number one fav chicken pie recipe: Country Chicken and Mushroom Pies and this is the recipe that I have used to bake the pies with Carrie Wong in an episode of Touch Screen Cuisine 弹指间的料理 filmed in Singapore during April 2016. I promise you that this sour cream pastry is the best and has been my personal fave! Flaky, buttery, melt-in-your mouth with a heavenly milky aftertaste and this is why I'm proud to bake these pies and share this fantastic recipe at this prime time TV show.

- The always most convenient chicken pie recipe to bake: Fast and Easy Chicken Pies So easy that my son can bake these too!

- The always light and healthy chicken pie recipe with no cream: Light and Creamy Healthy Chicken Pot Pies. Relieve to know that these pies won't do too much harm to your waist or thighs?

- The always fuss free chicken recipe for the multi-tasking me: The Most Fuss Free Chicken and Mushroom Pies that I ever baked. Yeah... Just assemble and leave the ingredients to cook by itself :)

-The always most flavoursome and melt-in-the-mouth chicken pie recipe: Little Chicken and Mushroom Pies. It's true that the filling can melt-in-our-mouth!

- The always so comforting chicken pie recipe: Hurry up Chicken Pie. Very Southern American style and this is why this pie is so 100% comforting to eat.

As you can see, there are so many different variations of chicken pies recipes everywhere... in cookbooks and internet. This is why I never stop trying different types of chicken pie recipes and I'm going to introduce another great one to you.

Now presenting these Chicken and Leek Pies with Scrunched and Buttery Filo Tops: I call these the "happily-ever-after-married" chicken pies with delicious buttery crunch and creamy yummy chicken and leek filling. I promise... The first bite of this pie with its filo crunch will surely impress you!

chicken leek pies crunchy buttery filo topping
Chicken and Leek Pies with Scrunched and Buttery Filo Tops

Why happy-married? Don't you think that chicken and leek are like the classic heavenly made couple ingredients to make chicken casserole and pies. Just Google for "chicken leek" and all you can find never ending list of chicken and leek casserole and pie recipes!!! Can't decide? Instead of using the recipes from my Google search, I have a recipe already in my mind and it is this Chicken and Leek Pies with Scrunched and Buttery Filo Tops recipe from the book, In the Kitchen by Simmone Logue. Why do I want to bake with this recipe? Honestly, I can't really tell you why. There is no photo in the book showing how this pie is going to look and so it was purely my gut feeling that tells me that I should try this modern-country style chicken recipe. Glad that I baked these because we were like "happily-ever-after" after we ate these pies :)

This recipe originates from the book, In the Kitchen by Simmone Logue

To make four medium pies (ramekins with 0.28L capacity) to serve 3-4 persons for dinner or use double of this amount to make one large 23 cm shallow pie to serve 6-8 for dinner, you need:

For the sour cream pastry -
Please note that this sour cream pastry is different from my favourite sour cream pastry recipe at here - Honestly, I still think that the sour cream pastry at here is the best and can't fight with this recipe. Regardless, I still have to try this recipe in order to make such a comparison!!! LOL!

75g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
150g (1 cup) all purpose or plain flour, sifted plus extra to dust
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup (60ml) sour cream, regular with 35% fat - please do not use fat reduced ones.

For the filling -
1/2 tbsp cooking oil
250g skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 5 cm (2 inches) chunks - please do not use chicken breast!
1 tbsp (15g) butter (you can use either unsalted or salted)
1 leek, use the pale part only, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely crushed
1 bay leaf (fresh or dry is ok)
1 tbsp plain or all purpose flour
1/4 cup (60ml) milk, the regular type with 4% fat - please do not skinny milk
1/2 cup (125ml) cooking cream - you can use with cream with 35% or 18% fat
3/4 tsp salt
a pinch of ground white pepper
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

For assembling the pie -
6 large filo pastries, 
about 45 cm x 26 cm each piece (slightly less than half of a regular 375g pack)
100g butter, melted (you can use either unsalted or salted)
plus extra salt to sprinkle

extra melted butter or cooking oil spray to grease ramekins or pie dish

1) To make the pastry: Combine flour and salt. Using a food processor or your fingertips, process or cut butter into the flour and salt mixture. Pulse or rub until the butter and flour are incorporated into large crumbs. Add sour cream and pulse or mix until a dough is formed. Wrap dough into a cling wrap and leave it to rest in the fridge for 20 mins until firm.

2) While chilling, cook the filling. Heat oil in saucepan over medium high heat and sauté chicken in batches if required for about 5 mins until nicely browned. Transfer chicken to a plate. Set aside.

Sauté chicken until they are nicely browned.

3) Using the same pan, melt butter in it over medium heat. Sauté leek, garlic and bay leaves for 5-10 mins or until soft and fragrant.

Leek, all nicely sliced and ready to cook...
Hmmm... smelling lovely!

4) Stir in the flour and cook for about 3 mins, then stir in the milk and cream and cook until it is slightly thickened, about 2 mins. Return chicken to the pan, along with any juices. Stir in the salt, white pepper and parsley. Transfer into a bowl. Cover and place it in a fridge until thoroughly chilled. Tip: You can cook this filling and make the dough one day in advance and assemble all on the day you want to bake and serve the pies :)

For this step... I need to add these cream and milk.
And I need to add these white pepper and salt too.
So here we go... The filling is done!

5) When the filling is chilled enough, assemble the pies. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Use extra melted butter and cooking spray to grease ramekins or pie dish. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry to about 8mm (3/8 inch) thick and cut pastry into 4 x about 15 cm rounds. Line pastry into the prepared ramekins or pie dish and trim off any excess overhanging pastry. Fill with chicken filling.

6) Using a pair of kitchen scissor, cut filo 6 (or 18 if you are making one 23 cm pie) pieces of pastries into half and you will have about 12 (or 36 if you are making one 23 cm pie) pieces. Place the trimmed pastry in a clean plastic bag or cover with a damp cloth to stop them from drying out. Take one piece of filo pastry and brush with melted butter. Top with another, brush with more butter, top with a third filo and brush with more butter. Scrunch the filo layers and place on the top of one medium pie or anywhere on top of the large pie. Repeat with the remaining pastry and butter until you have completely topped your pie/s. Brush the completed pies with remaining butter and sprinkle with salt.

Top and brush. Top and brush. Top and brush.
Before baking...

7) Bake for for 30 mins or golden brown with crunchy tops! Serve immediately while they are nice and warm.

After baking...
chicken leek pies crunchy buttery filo topping
It's "crunch" time! :)
chicken leek pies crunchy buttery filo topping
Wish that you are here with me to hear the crunch and taste the yummy chicken filling :)
All thanks to Simmone Logue, the author of the book, In the Kitchen.
These modern country style chicken leek pies are yummy.

Want more country pie recipes? There are a lot more in this book. I was thinking of baking this beef and Guinness pie for my red-meat-eating husband and son but chose chicken eventually because I prefer chicken. Yeah... I cook I choose. Ha! Ha!

The very hearty Beef and Guinness pie

The book starts with Simmone's favourite basic recipes like the tomato relish, pesto, mayonnaise, chilli jam, dressing and etc.

One of "Simmone's toolbox"
Followed by breakfast recipes like this...
I love love love this!!!
And this recipe is found in the chapter of picnic lunches in this book.
Not entirely country style...
I noticed that Simmone is very good in incorporating Asian flavours into her country food.
Very brilliant!!!

Relaxed. Country. Flavoursome. Fusion. Stylish. Fresh. Beautiful. I hope that you can see the deep beauty of this book as much as I do. If you want to own this book, you may wish to know that it is available now in most retail or online book shops selling at the retail price of AUD$39.99.

As this post is specially written to review this book, I'm sorry that I have agreed to the publisher that I can't publish the original recipes in this book in this post. However, if you really wish to cook these crunchy chicken and leek pies, please read my post in details, you will see that you can actually bake these with no worries as I have fully illustrated the process very thoroughly to you. *Hint*

Before ending this post, I like to thank Murdoch Books for giving me this opportunity to do this review. I like to make a disclaimer here that I'm not paid to do this and like to share my most honest opinions with everyone who read this review.

This post is linked at Cookbook Countdown #6 organised by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Emily from Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

Happy Cooking and Baking
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  1. The pie looks so delicious that one cannot say no to...I am so tempted and drooling over those beautiful pics

  2. Zoe, these cocotte with filo pastry look yummy and crispy.
    Thanks for sharing

  3. This is indeed new recipe for me.... love this pie recipe with filo pastry.... :)

  4. Hi Zoe,
    We love chicken pie too, but I have never tried making it with Filo pastry before. I can almost hear the crunch! Looks delicious!

  5. Meat pies are so good, aren't they? Chicken is my favorite. Never used leeks in one for some reason, though. Gotta try this! Looks scrumptious. Thanks!

  6. Haven't had homemade pies in years ! Bookmarked several recipes but haven't got around to it yet :P Love how pretty it looks ! The crunchy filo pastry on its own looks drool-worthy :D

  7. Rustic and delicious! I love filo pastry and it's such a yummy addition than a regular pie crust! I really must make these individual pies soon, I know everyone in my family will enjoy them!