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[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

Of all the great things that Britain has given the world, savory pies have got to top the list. From the hand-held pasty to the potato-topped fish pie or the always delicious steak and kidney, a good savory pie is hard to refuse. And this version filled with chicken and leek is a fantastic pie to get started with, if this type of dish is not already one of your favorites. A creamy mixture of poached chicken and leeks in between flaky puff pastry, it's a simple enough meal for a weeknight but is fancy enough that you could easily serve it to guests.

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This version is inspired by Nigel Slater's Chicken and Leek pie for the BBC, with a few basic changes. I like to use a combination of breast and leg meat to get a greater variety of texture in the final product. Working from raw chicken allows you to tailor the taste of both the chicken and the stock using your fridge and spice cupboard (peppercorns, carrot, and celery would all go well in the pot you simmer the chicken in)—but if you're limited on time and looking for a shortcut, then buying a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, then shredding it, then using a premade stock cuts the time way down.

This is a great dish for company because it can be assembled before they arrive and then brushed with egg and baked when you're ready to eat. It is also delicious served at room temperature, which makes it perfect for an early spring picnic or a potluck as well. A tart green salad would be the ideal side to cut the richness of the pastry and the creamy filling.

Adapted from BBC Food

About the author: Sydney Oland lives in Somerville, Mass. Find more information at sydneyoland.com (or read eatingnosetotail.com)

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