An Irish meal using Thanksgiving leftovers: Potato, Leek, and Chicken Pie

For today’s recipe, I really hunted to find a recipe using already-cooked chicken, figuring that you could use turkey just as well if you have a lot left over from your Thanksgiving meal and want something new to do with it.  Of course, if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, or do so at a different time of the year (all you Canadians!) or just want to cook this at a different time, you can go ahead and use chicken.

I found this recipe in a marvelous recipe book I have called Irish Pub Cooking published in 2010 which I bought at Barnes and Noble.  I promise you will be seeing other recipes from it in the future as every one I have tried has been delicious!   And the photography in the book is gorgeous.  I have to wipe the drool off the pages every once in a while.

The leek is a very popular ingredient in Irish cooking.  If you don’t have access to them, you could use green onions.  They don’t taste identical but they definitely have a similar type of flavor and particularly in this recipe would work fine.    But if you’re just unfamiliar with them and afraid to give them a spin, don’t be.  They are easy to use and delicious!   The only real trick with a leek is to wash, wash, wash them because they tend to have a lot of grit in the leaves and if you are slipshod about your washing, you’ll wind up with sand in your food.  Usually, you can just soak the cut leeks in a deep bowl or sink of cold water for a few minutes and that lets the grit sink to the bottom where it won’t come back to haunt you.

Potato, Leek, and Chicken (or Turkey) Pie (serves 4)

  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • About 6 ounces of cooked chicken or turkey
  • 1 leek, washed and sliced, or several green onions sliced.
  • 1-1/2 cup of sliced chestnut mushrooms (or portabella if these aren’t available)
  • 2-1/2 Tbsp of flour
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 8 oz of store-bought filo pastry, thawed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 5 minutes (they will not be done!) Drain.  Melt 5 Tbsp of the butter in a skillet and toss in your chicken or turkey and cook briefly.  Add the leek and the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, stirring.  Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in the milk and bring to a boil.  Add the mustard, sage, and potatoes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter (3 Tbsp) in a small pan.  Line a deep pie dish or casserole with half the sheets of the filo pastry.  Spoon the chicken mixture into the dish and cover with 1 sheet of the pastry.  Brush with melted butter and lay another sheet on top. Brush this sheet with melted butter as well.

Cut the remaining filo pastry into strips and fold them onto the top of the pie to create a ruffled effect. (This, I think, is not necessary.   You could just add the third sheet.   But it does look pretty.) Brush the strips with melted butter and cook in the preheated oven for 45 minutes until golden brown and crisp.  Serve hot.

Hope you give this a try at some point!  Let me know what you think.

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About susannahsharp

I'm pursuing a life-long dream of writing now, something I am really enjoying. My first book should be out by Christmas. I want to blog about all things Irish; offering some book reviews for romantic, not smutty, books; and also things pertaining to reading and writing.
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