A crazy weekend, a finished workshop space & cock-a-Leekie pie

This weekend, as most of them are, was crazy!  Closed the shop on Saturday at 2pm, ran upstairs and finished off the last few bits and pieces in the new workshop area, loaded a cupboard and kitchen hutch onto the ute, home, sleep, up at 5am......deliver said furniture to Hobart, back in the same day.....and in the midst of all of that, I still managed to make a Cock-a-Leekie Pie, much to Noel's delight!!

I knew this weekend was going to be hectic, so I started making this pie two day prior.  I made the pie dough first and popped it in the fridge, ready for the next step.

Recipe - All Butter Pie Dough

2 1/2 cups of plain flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup chilled butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup iced water
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

This is a nice and simple dough to make, can be done in a food processor, but it's just as easy to do it by hand.....and less washing up too! Combine flour and salt, add butter and rub through using your fingers, until it resembles bread crumbs.  It's a great workout for your thumbs!!  

Combine the vinegar and iced water add in parts to the flour with one hand, while using your other hand to slowly mix it in.  You may not need to use all the apple cider vinegar mixture, play it by ear a little. You don't want the dough sticky, you're after a nice soft dough....turn out dough, divide into two and wrap in plastic wrap. Pop into the fridge.  This can sit there for at least three day.

Below is the Cock-a-Leekie Pie filling, it's a beautiful combination of chicken, bacon, prunes and thyme.  So easy to make, and another part of the process that can be completed a day or so beforehand. 

Recipe - Cock-a-Leekie Pie

6 tbsp butter, divided
3 slices bacon cut into small pieces
1kg of free range chicken breast
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced into rounds
2 sprigs of thyme, leave stripped
1/2 cup pitted prunes, quarted
1/3 cup plain flour, plus more
2 cups of chicken stock
1 egg beaten

Preheat oven to 180c.  Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook bacon, stirring often, until crisp. Transfer to plate with slotted spoon.

Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook in same skillet until brown, about 3 minutes each side. Add a splash of water to the skillet, cover, reduce heat, and cook until chicken is cooked through, 10 - 12 mins....if you follow this exactly, the chicken is perfect! Transfer to plate.

Add leeks to skillet (I really do have a skillet, it's cast iron and I love it....you can use a fry pan) season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add a splash of water, cover, and cook until leeks are very soft, about another 5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl.  Shred chicken using forks and add to leeks along with thyme, prunes and reserved bacon. (image above)

Melt the remaining 4 Tbsp of butter in a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat.  Whisk in 1/3 cup flour and cook, whisking constantly, until golden brown.  Whisk in stock, adding a little at a time, until smooth.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Mix sauce into leek mixture; season with salt and pepper.  Let cool.

While this is cooling, here's my chance to share some more pictures of the finished upstairs area......all that's missing is you!

Workshops will be announced over the next week.  If you would like to facilitate a workshop please make contact with me via email: info@theblackhen.com with details.  If you would like to hire this space, please contact me on this same email address.

OK...back to the recipe.  

Your mixture has now cooled.  Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface.  I'm using a 20cm cake tin with a removal base.  Rub a little butter inside the cake tin, line with your rolled out dough. Spoon in leek mixture. Roll out the other disk of dough and place this on top, crimp edges together with fingers or using a fork.  Cut a few vents in the top, brush with egg.

Bake until crust is golden brown. 50 - 60 minutes.  Let pie cool slightly.

I'll have mine with a big cup of tea :) x Julie