It got a tiny bit cold for a wee minute here in NYC and so I immediately had to make a chicken pie. There's something about it - for Rich it is a total taste of home, and I just love the cozy way it makes the house smell (even if I did have to turn the air con on toward the end because it was heating up the house too much).
I mixed things up a bit this time and went for a chicken, leek and sun dried tomato pesto pie. Leeks are so underrated - they give a very subtle onion flavour, and cook down to be lovely and soft, giving substance to the filling without being overwhelming. I also added the usual suspects - bacon, celery and carrot, then thickened the filling with a little flour, chicken stock and cream. The last step which really helped elevate this to the next level was a big dollop of Filippo Berio Sun dried Tomato Pesto, which added another flavour profile into the mix to give this a tiny twist on the standard chicken pie.
A regular pie dough is usually my go to for a savoury pie, but I have been wanting to try making rough puff (I always want it to be called Ruff Puff!) for a long time now, so figured this would be a great time to do it! There are loads and loads of recipes for it on the internet, all with their own methods and ingredient ratios, so I figured I might as well go ahead and add my own! Traditional puff pastry is super fun to make but it is a little time consuming and can be tricky in the summer due to the butter melting quickly. Rough puff is a great alternative - it is much more forgiving, and a little less time consuming to make. It does still involve a little time in terms of resting and chilling the dough, but the actual active time is very small. I think this is going to be my new go to for a savoury pie - it is flaky and tender, and bakes up to be amazingly golden brown. It is 100% worth the effort, promise.
This is the third recipe I am bringing to you in partnership with Filippo Berio! Seeing as autumn is maybe finally around the corner, I wanted to share a recipe for something a little cozy and comforting. Next weekend I am going up to Bridgehampton to check out the Filippo Berio booth at the Hampton Classic - I will be posting on IG stories so you can follow along!
A few wee tips:
I kind of combined the recipe of a rough puff but incorporated some of the folds that a traditional puff pastry has. It's way way less stressful to make, because you don't have to worry about your butter block being too warm or cold and breaking up and coming to the surface.
I used a food processor to grate my frozen butter which worked great (grate? I'll stop now) but if you grate by hand, put your grater in the freezer for a wee bit before you start so it is nice and cold. If you can though, I would absolutely recommend using the whizz!
The pastry will look super shaggy at the beginning but I promise that it will be lovely and smooth by the time you are finished with your turns. I do a total of 6 turns - if your dough is cool enough and you work quickly you can usually get away with doing two at a time, but if you are working in the summer, you may have to pop it back in the fridge just for a little bit. Don't be intimidated - because there's no butter to break up because it's all incorporated, a quick rest in the fridge fixes everything!
If you want to make this with store bought puff pastry, you will need about 1kg. Home made pie dough will also work amazingly! This quantity will work - leave out the sugar. I did do a fairly tight lattice, which means that you need double the area of the top of the pie to make enough strips (full size of the top for the horizontal, and full for the vertical) which means the top is quite crust heavy, but I love a good pastry to filling ratio, so you can do a wider lattice if you would like less pastry.
I put a bottom crust on this but if you like you could just do a top crust and do it as a big pot pie - add a little strip of pastry around the edge of the tin and fold down over the filling a little so that the top crust has something to join onto.
The Rough puff gets a bit hard to work with if it gets too warm from the filling, so ideally give your filling a little time to cool before you assemble.
This is great to make ahead - you can prep the filling and then assemble the pie, then just pop it in the fridge until you are ready. It will likely need an extra 10-15 minutes in the oven to compensate for this, but just keep an eye on it. You want the filling to be bubbling when you take it out. Don't egg wash it until just before you bake.
I used Filippo Berio's Sun dried Tomato pesto in this recipe, which really elevated the flavours, but if you aren't able to get sundried tomato, a tablespoon of dried or a small handful of fresh thyme is a great alternative.
Chicken, Leek and Sun dried Tomato Pesto Pie with Homemade Rough Puff Pastry
- Makes one large pie - serves 6-10 depending on serving size -
Pastry recipe slightly adapted from Epicurious
Rough Puff Pastry
450g Unsalted Butter, frozen (if your butter does not come in sticks, chop into a few pieces before freezing)
450g all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup ice water
200g (0.4lb) bacon, finely chopped
800g (1.8lb) boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into small pieces
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 large leeks (approximately 500g chopped), Chopped into fine half moons
2 large carrots, finely chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
75g (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
2 cups (500ml) chicken stock
3/4 cup (190ml) heavy cream
150g Filippo Berio Sun dried Tomato Pesto
Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
- PROCESS -
ROUGH PUFF PASTRY
Sift together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Grate the butter either in a food processor or by hand, and toss with the flour. Add half a cup of the ice water, and mix by hand to combine. Add extra water, a few tablespoons at a time, until you have a cohesive dough that holds together when gently squeezed. Be careful not to add too much water.
Turn out the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a rough rectangle. It will be shaggy and not smooth. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place on a sheet pan. Chill in the fridge for an hour.
Remove the dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle approximately 13" x 20" (30cm x 50cm). Brush any excess flour off the surface. Starting with a short side, fold the dough into thirds like a letter - bring one third up, and then fold the second third over it. Roll the dough out again and repeat the folding process. Wrap in the plastic wrap, place on the sheet pan and chill for 30-40 minutes.
Repeat the rolling and chilling process two more times - each time you remove the dough from the fridge, perform two rounds of rolling out and folding. In total you will give the dough 6 folds, in 3 sessions.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave to chill for a few hours before using, or ideally overnight.
Place a large frying pan, cast iron skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the bacon to the cold pan, and cook until just golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, reserving fat for cooking the chicken.
Working in two batches, cook the chicken until golden brown and cooked through. Remove and set aside.
Add the butter to the pan, and allow to melt, then add the leeks, carrots, and celery. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, until the leeks are soft and the carrots are tender. Season well with salt and pepper.
If you are working with a small frying pan, transfer the leek mixture into a large pot and place over medium heat. Add the flour, and stir well to combine. Add the chicken stock and cream, and mix well. Cook until the mixture thickens slightly, then add the bacon and chicken and stir to incorporate. Add the sun dried tomato pesto, and mix well. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly. If you would like to speed up the cooling process you can transfer to a shallow baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 375˚f / 190˚c. Have your baking tin ready - I used a 13" x 10" enamel baking dish, but a 9" x 13" baking tin would work great too. Remove the puff pastry from the fridge and divide into two, with one piece larger than the other (about a 1/3 to 2/3 split). Wrap up the larger piece and return to the fridge.
Roll out the smaller piece of pastry on a lightly floured surface, to a few inches larger than your baking tin, and line the bottom and the sides with the pastry, allowing a little overhang. Freeze briefly for 5-10 minutes to help firm up.
Add the cooled chicken filling to the pastry lined tin, smoothing down with a spoon.
Roll out the second piece of pastry on a lightly floured surface (it may help to divide it in two and roll out each piece individually), and using a pizza roller or pastry wheel, cut lattice strips. I find that the easiest way to make sure I have enough is to divide the pastry into two, and roll out each to about the same size as the surface of the pie, before cutting into strips. That way you should have enough horizontal and vertical strips. Lattice your pie as desired - I did a simple lattice, but treated two strips as one to give a double strip lattice effect. If you have extra pastry you can make some braids to go around the edge, or you can just trim the pastry flush with the edge of the pan and then fold it inward, crimping lightly.
Brush the pastry with the egg wash. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Thank you so much to Filippo Berio for Sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.