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James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie Recipe

If you’re looking for a comforting and flavorful dish to add to your recipe repertoire, did you know that James Martin’s Chicken and Leek Pie is a favorite among many home cooks, with a high satisfaction rate?

The combination of tender chicken, leeks, and a rich creamy sauce encased in buttery pastry is a true crowd-pleaser. But what sets this recipe apart is the secret ingredient that adds a unique twist to the classic pie, leaving your taste buds intrigued and eager for more.

Key Takeaways

  • Use fresh ingredients and flavorful herbs for a delicious pie.
  • Consider substitutions like shallots, green onions, or mushrooms for variations.
  • Prepare a creamy filling with sautéed chicken and leeks seasoned well.
  • Follow pastry tips for a perfect, crisp crust; blind bake for a sturdy base.
James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie Recipe
James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie Recipe

Ingredients Needed

To make the delicious James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie, you’ll need a selection of fresh and flavorful ingredients. For those looking to switch up the traditional leek, consider using shallots or green onions as tasty substitutes.

When it comes to the chicken broth, you have the option to use either store-bought or homemade broth, depending on your preference for depth of flavor.

If you’re looking to adapt this recipe for vegetarians, fear not! Simply replace the chicken with hearty vegetables like mushrooms or chickpeas for a savory twist. Additionally, for those with gluten sensitivities, there are plenty of alternatives available.

Opt for gluten-free pie crusts or make your own using a blend of gluten-free flours to ensure the dish remains safe for gluten intolerances.

Preparing the Filling

For the flavorful filling of the James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie, you’ll need to prepare a delectable mixture that will elevate the dish to new heights of savory satisfaction. Here’s how to create a filling that will tantalize your taste buds:

  1. Flavor Combinations: Experiment with different herbs and spices such as thyme, rosemary, and a hint of nutmeg to enhance the taste profile of the filling.

  2. Filling Variations: Consider adding a splash of white wine or a dollop of Dijon mustard to the filling for an extra depth of flavor that will surprise and delight.

  3. Texture Balance: Achieve the perfect balance between chunky chicken pieces and soft leeks by sautéing them separately before combining them in a luscious creamy sauce.

  4. Seasoning Savvy: Don’t forget to season generously with salt and pepper at each stage of cooking to ensure every bite is seasoned to perfection.

Making the Pastry

You’re about to embark on the crucial step of making the pastry for your chicken and leek pie. Ensure you have all the necessary pastry ingredients ready, as this will set the foundation for your dish.

Following the pastry making steps meticulously and keeping in mind some pastry tips and tricks will guarantee a delicious and flaky crust for your pie.

Pastry Ingredients Needed

Begin by gathering the essential ingredients for the pastry to ensure a flaky and delicious crust for your James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Plain Flour: This forms the base of your pastry, providing structure and texture.
  2. Butter: Use cold, cubed butter to create a crumbly texture and richness.
  3. Egg: Adding an egg binds the ingredients together, giving your pastry strength and a golden finish.
  4. Cold Water: Adding just enough cold water helps bring the pastry dough together without making it too wet.

With these ingredients, you can master the art of creating a perfect pastry for your Chicken and Leek Pie, ready to be rolled, chilled, and transformed into a delectable crust.

James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie Recipe
James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie Recipe

Pastry Making Steps

To craft a perfect pastry for your James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie, start by incorporating the cold, cubed butter into the plain flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add a little cold water gradually until the dough comes together.

Once chilled, roll out the pastry using a rolling technique that involves gentle pressure to ensure even thickness. For a blind baking method, line the pastry with parchment paper and fill it with baking beans to prevent it from rising. When the pastry is partially baked, remove the parchment and beans to allow it to crisp up.

For a lattice top or crimping edges, cut strips of pastry and weave them over the filling or pinch the edges decoratively before baking.

Pastry Tips and Tricks

Crafting the perfect pastry for your James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie involves a meticulous process that starts with incorporating cold, cubed butter into plain flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. To ensure your pastry turns out flaky and delicious, here are some tips and tricks:

  1. Rolling Technique: Roll the pastry dough gently and evenly to prevent it from becoming tough.

  2. Chilling Time: Allow the pastry to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out.

  3. Blind Baking: Pre-bake the pastry crust before adding the filling to prevent it from becoming soggy.

  4. Ventilation: Cut slits or poke holes in the pastry to allow steam to escape while baking, ensuring a crisp crust.

Assembling the Pie

When assembling your chicken and leek pie, remember to carefully prepare the pie crust to ensure a flaky and delicious base for your filling. Layering the filling is crucial; make sure to evenly distribute the chicken and leek mixture to create a balanced and flavorful pie.

Pay attention to the technique of layering the ingredients to achieve a well-structured and satisfying dish.

Pie Crust Preparation

Consider layering the bottom of your pie dish with the rolled out pie crust, ensuring it covers the entire surface evenly. Here are some key steps to assembling your pie crust:

  1. Blind Baking Technique: Before adding the filling, blind bake the bottom crust by lining it with parchment paper and pie weights. This helps prevent a soggy bottom.

  2. Crimping Edges: After adding the filling, gently fold the overhanging dough over the top to create a thick border, then crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork for a decorative finish.

  3. Lattice Design: For a visually appealing top crust, cut the remaining dough into strips and weave them over the filling to create a lattice pattern.

  4. Ventilation: Remember to cut slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape during baking, ensuring a crisp crust.

James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie Recipe

Recipe by Heather SmithCourse: Main CourseCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Moderate


Prep time


Cooking time





James Martin's Chicken and Leek Pie is a comforting British classic. Tender chicken and sautéed leeks are enveloped in a creamy sauce, then topped with buttery puff pastry for a deliciously indulgent dish.


  • Chicken breast

  • Chicken stock

  • Puff pastry

  • Butter

  • Flour

  • Leeks


  • Cook chicken until browned, then set aside.
  • Sauté leeks in butter until soft.
  • Stir in flour to make a roux, then gradually add chicken stock.
  • Simmer until sauce thickens, then add cooked chicken.
  • Transfer filling to a pie dish, top with puff pastry, and seal edges
  • Bake until pastry is golden and filling is bubbling.

Filling Layering Technique

To elevate the flavor profile and texture of your James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie, master the art of layering the filling meticulously within the pie crust. The layering technique is crucial in creating a harmonious blend of flavors and ensuring each bite is a delightful experience. Consider the following flavor combinations to enhance your pie:

1Cooked ChickenSeasoned with herbs and spices
2LeeksSoftened and caramelized
3Creamy SauceInfused with garlic and thyme
4Puff PastryFlaky and golden crust

Carefully stacking these layers will result in a delicious and well-balanced Chicken and Leek Pie that is sure to impress.

Baking Instructions

For optimal results, bake the James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie at 375°F for 40 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Here’s how to achieve that perfect pie:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Make sure your oven is set to the correct temperature before placing the pie inside. This ensures even cooking and a beautifully golden crust.

  2. Positioning: Set the pie on the middle rack of the oven to allow the heat to circulate evenly around it, aiding in achieving that crispy crust.

  3. Check for Doneness: Peek through the oven window towards the end of the baking time to ensure the pie is turning a lovely golden brown color. This visual cue indicates the crust is crisping up nicely.

  4. Finishing Touch: Once the timer goes off, carefully remove the pie and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This resting period allows the filling to settle, making for easier slicing and a more enjoyable eating experience.

Serving and Enjoying

When serving and enjoying the James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie, ensure to pair it with a side salad to balance out the richness of the filling and add a refreshing contrast. The pie’s golden crust, whether traditional or puff pastry, will provide a satisfying crunch with every bite. For a modern twist on pie presentation ideas, consider using individual ramekins for a personalized touch.

To enhance the dining experience, opt for a light white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay to complement the creamy leek and chicken flavors. If you prefer red wine, a Pinot Noir could also be a suitable choice. The wine pairings will elevate the savory notes of the dish and create a harmonious balance on your palate.

Serving suggestions include garnishing with fresh parsley or thyme to add a pop of color and a hint of herbaceousness. Whether enjoyed as a cozy family dinner or presented at a gathering, this Chicken and Leek Pie is sure to impress with its comforting flavors and inviting aroma.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can This Recipe Be Made Ahead of Time and Frozen for Later?

You can definitely prepare this dish ahead of time and freeze it for later. Follow these freezing tips for best results. Making it ahead allows for convenient meals when you need them. Enjoy the flexibility!

Can I Substitute the Leeks in This Recipe With a Different Vegetable?

You can definitely swap leeks for other veggies like onions, shallots, or even mushrooms to switch up flavors. Consider textures and how they’ll cook in the dish. Seasonal produce can also inspire fresh alternatives.

Can I Use Store-Bought Pastry Instead of Making My Own for This Pie?

You can absolutely use store-bought pastry for convenience, but making your own adds a homemade touch. Consider your time and desired flavor profile when deciding between the two options. Explore different vegetables to substitute for leeks for more flavor variations.

How Long Does This Pie Stay Fresh and How Should It Be Stored?

To keep your pie fresh, store it in the fridge for about 3-4 days in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in foil. If you want to freeze it, wrap it well and it will last for up to 2-3 months. Reheat in the oven for best results.

Is There a Way to Make This Recipe Lower in Calories or Healthier?

To make the dish healthier, opt for leaner protein like turkey or tofu, use low-fat dairy, and load up on veggies. Swap traditional pie crust for a lighter phyllo dough or a crustless version.

James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie Recipe
James Martin Chicken and Leek Pie Recipe


In conclusion, this James Martin chicken and leek pie recipe is a delectable masterpiece that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

The creamy filling perfectly complements the flaky pastry crust, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

With each bite, you’ll be transported to a world of culinary delight.

So go ahead, treat yourself to this indulgent dish and savor every mouthful of this heavenly creation.

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