The comfort of food…..

The summer is a distant memory at this stage, but then again, it never really arrived in Ireland this year. So for me, it’s time to move on. As with every year, I reach a stage where I embrace the winter traditions with glee. While we Irish are never really afforded an opportunity to get stuck in to the summer vibe (barbecue in the rain anyone?), the autumn and winter months never let us down. While rainy and sludgy weather may be the downside, they provide the perfect backdrop to log fires, cosy jumpers and steaming pots of comfort food. With this in mind, I devoted Saturday afternoon to making a Chicken and Leek Pie for the clan – whether they liked it or not. Luckily, the effort was well worth it. This recipe is adapted from Cully&Sully.com.

Chicken and Leek pie

1 whole chicken
1 liter water/chicken stock
1 onion
1 carrot
Herbs of you choice
Salt & pepper
50 ml double cream
A dash of white wine (if required)
Some Parmesan for grating

Place a whole chicken in a tight fitting pot and half fill with chicken stock or water, herbs of your choice, salt and pepper, a peeled carrot and onion. Bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour and a half.

Remove the chicken and take all the flesh from the carcass discarding the skin and bones. Keep whats left of the stock. Tear the chicken meat into bite size pieces.

Thicken the remaining cooking liquid with a little bit of roux and adjust seasoning (half flour, half butter cooked together for 2 minutes) and set aside. Enrich with a good dollop of cream. A glug of dry white wine would not cause any damage at this stage.

Slice one medium leek into half inch rings and soften in butter for 5  minutes and add to thickened cooking liquid along with the chicken.

Pour contents into a pie dish and cover contents with fluffy mashed potato. Grate a little Parmesan on top if you so desire.

Bake in the oven at 180 C until pipping hot and golden on top, around 30/40 minutes.

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