⁣Chicken, Ham and Leek Pies

Peter Gray

Peter Gray

23rd February 2018
Peter Gray

⁣Chicken, Ham and Leek Pies

Perfect for British Pie Week (5th-11th February 2018 -⁣⁣Chicken, Ham and Leek Pies at Heston Blumenthal's Michelin-starred restaurant The Hind’s Head in Bray, part of The Fat Duck Group. ⁣Serves 6.


  • ⁣For the chicken:
  • 50g salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • ¾ tsp coriander seeds
  • 8 chicken thighs, deboned, skins removed and reserved
  • 500g fresh chicken stock
  • For the ham:
  • 1 ham hock
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 leek (white part only), sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • For the leeks:
  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • reserved chicken skin from the thighs
  • 300g leeks (white part only), finely sliced
  • For the pie sauce:
  • 375g white port
  • 375g dry, white wine
  • 5 shallots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 750g fresh chicken stock, reduced from 1.5kg fresh chicken stock
  • 400g double cream
  • small handful chervil
  • 60g wholegrain mustard
  • For the beurre noisette:
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • For the filling:
  • 70g reserved beurre noisette
  • 70g plain flour
  • 250g reserved ham hock stock
  • 70g double cream
  • 20g tarragon leaves
  • 20g chervil leaves
  • 20g flat leaf parsley
  • white pepper
  • reserved ham, shredded
  • reserved chicken, diced
  • reserved leeks
  • 90g reserved pie sauce
  • To assemble and cook the pies:
  • 4 all-butter puff pastry sheets
  • reserved completed filling
  • 1-2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • remaining pie sauce, to serve


Brining the chicken:
1) Bring 1kg water to the boil and add the salt, whisking until all the salt has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat
and add the garlic, rosemary, sage, black peppercorns and coriander seeds.
2) Allow to stand until the brine has cooled completely. Strain the brine, discarding the aromatics and pour into a large bowl.
3) Add the chicken thighs, cover and place in the fridge for 5 hours.
4) Remove the chicken thighs,
discarding the brine and rinse under cold, running water for 5 minutes, then pat dry with kitchen paper. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 85°C.
To cook the chicken:
1) Place the chicken pieces in an ovenproof pan and pour over the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over medium heat on the stove top, cover
and place in the oven for 90 minutes.
2) Remove from the oven and allow the chicken
to cool in the stock before removing and dicing.
To prepare the ham hock:
1) Place the ham joint in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then drain and refill the pan with fresh
water to cover – enough to cover the ham.
2) Add the garlic, onion, carrot, leek,
celery, bay leaf, thyme and peppercorns to the pan and bring to a simmer over low-medium heat for 3 hours, covered.
3) Remove the pan from the heat and allow the
ham hock to cool in the stock. Strain and reserve the stock through a double layer of muslin, discarding the vegetables. Reserve 250g of the stock for use
in this recipe and keep the remainder aside for another use.
4) Shred the ham hock, place in a container, cover and set aside in the fridge until needed.
To cook the leeks:
1) Heat the grapeseed oil in a pan and add the chicken skins reserved from trimming the chicken thighs earlier.
2) Cook over moderate heat until the fat renders, approx. 10 minutes.
3) Remove and discard the skins and add the leeks, cooking until completely softened. Remove from the heat and allow the leeks to cool in the pan.
The infusion of the sauce elements can be made a day ahead of time - to make the sauce:
1) Place the port, wine, shallots, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves into a bowl and place in the fridge, covered overnight.
2) Place the mixture into a pan over moderate heat and reduce the mixture by half. Add the reduced chicken stock and reduce by half, then add the double cream and reduce again by half.
3) Pass the mixture though a fine sieve, discarding the aromatics. Add the chervil and allow to stand for 20 minutes.
4) Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside 500g of this sauce and add the wholegrain mustard.
5) Make a beurre noisette by melting the butter in a pan over low heat. Once completely melted, increase the heat to medium and cook the butter until browned and nutty.
6) Remove from the heat and once cooled to room temperature, pass through a double layer of muslin.
7) Add the herbs and leave to infuse for 1 hour, then pass through another double layer of muslin. Set aside in the fridge until needed.
To finish the pie filling:
1) Melt the beurre noisette in a pan and whisk in the flour, cooking for 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously.
2) Pour in the ham hock stock and continue to whisk until the sauce has thickened. Add the double cream and continue to whisk, removing the pan from the heat after 9-10 minutes. Set aside.
3) Finely chop the tarragon, chervil and parsley and combine with the shredded ham, diced chicken, leeks and 90g of the pie sauce. Mix until well combined.
4) Roll out the puff pastry 4mm thick and cut out 6 circles 85mm in diameter, and a second batch of 6, 120mm in diameter.
5) Place the smaller pastry discs on greased and floured baking trays and spoon approx. 150g of
filling into the centre. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash and cover the filling with the larger discs, pressing the edges with a fork to seal the
pies closed.
6) Rest for 30 min in the fridge while you preheat the oven to 210°C.
7) Brush the tops with egg wash and bake in the oven for 14-15 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with the remaining sauce.

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