Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Twitter chef avatar fun: Delia's chicken pot pie

Our February chef for our Twitter avatar fun is Delia Smith, chosen by Nancy. Delia is a new chef for me, but luckily her website is absolutely overflowing with delicious recipes to try. (Kayte made her French onion soup.) Looking for a good dinner idea, I found her recipe for chicken and leek pot pie. Chicken pot pie is always a hit around here, and this one was covered with puff pastry; I just happened to have just enough of NM's puff pastry left in my freezer to cover my pies.

The recipe is great for a small household, baking in a small round casserole and serving two. Feeding a family of four, but not needing leftovers for the next day, I made one and a half times the recipe. And actually, it makes quite a bit: it fed us all, plus healthy seconds for hubby, and he still had a sizable portion leftover for lunch today.

I had a bit of a challenge with the pot pie topping: you're supposed to cut out a little strip of pastry and stick it to the side of the casserole, and then press a round bit of pastry on top. I just couldn't make it work and was in a rush, so I just threw the round on the top of the casseroles. As a result, the puff pastry sank onto the topping and was a little soggy; still tasty though! I also made a change in the decoration: Delia has you decorate the top of the pie with a cut out of a leaf. To get buy-in from my family, I used our Star Wars cookie cutters and made Millennium Falcon and Tie-Fighter cut-outs instead. :-)

As for the verdict? This pot pie filling was awesome, definitely a rival to our favorite recipe. It was kind of time-consuming, but most (good) pot pie recipes are, and it probably would've been easier if I wasn't making ice cream at the same time. Definitely a repeat!

Melty Millennium Falcon
Delia's chicken and leek pot pie
adapted from Delia Smith

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (a 20 oz package)
3 leeks, thinly sliced, with tough green ends removed
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
12 oz hard cider
3 oz chicken broth (Delia calls for only hard cider, but I didn't want to open a 2nd bottle, so I used broth to fill in the rest of the liquid)
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
12 oz puff pastry (fresh or frozen and defrosted)
1 egg, lightly beaten
finely grated Parmesan for sprinkling
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:
15 oz milk
1 1/8 oz all-purpose flour
1 1/8 oz unsalted butter
pinch of cayenne pepper
1.5 oz sharp cheddar, grated
3/4 oz Parmesan, finely grated
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper

[Edited: Apparently Delia is pretty strict about copyright, and I don't want to step on any toes, so please see her site for assembly instructions. I am including my measurements and list of ingredients, as I made quite a number of changes.]

Leftover puff pastry = dessert!


  1. This is one of the ones I had marked. Glad to find it was tasty. Looks tasty!!

  2. Your pot pies look perfect for a February dinner (or lunch) and I'm glad you enjoyed Delia's recipe. I've always found good food on her site; she has the classic Christmas Pudding recipe, which is how I initially found her. Love your Star War's decor!

  3. Hi Abby! Love your pie! I want chicken pie now!!!!

    Delia is a very famous household name in the UK, generations of people watched her cooking shows on TV, something the equivalent of Martha Stewart. The strip thing is like cutting a piece of sticky tape that you press onto the rim of the bowl first and then stick the top on to it, easier to show than to describe. OH is better at all that sort of thing than me anyway! Love the star wars decorations too! Other random info about Delia, she is very wealthy and owns a football club which is her passion, Norwich City! Watch out for copyright issues, I have heard she is very strict. Lots of love, Joanna

    1. Oh, thanks for the heads-up, Joanna! I don't want to step on any toes.....I edited my post to pull the recipe instructions off. Thanks for all the info about her, that she owns a football team! :)

  4. Pot pies are always favorites here...guys just love having their own "whole" anything and this is one of their favorite things for that...looks delicious and I love your add-ins. I'm a big believer in that whole copyright thing as well. It just seems fair and just to me. You did good.