Chicken and Leek Casserole with Gravy

IMG_7866There’s something I need to address right off the bat: I realize this dish looks pretty beige, but I assure you the flavour is anything but!

My mom made a version of this for a boxing day lunch* and it was a hit. So, when I found myself with a freezer full of chicken (thanks to a recent Costco run) and some puff pastry leftover from a particularly decadent New Year’s eve baked brie courtesy of a friend, I thought I’d give it a try.

She used a Jamie Oliver recipe which you can find here. But, once I looked at it, I decided to use it for inspiration and method, but to deviate quite a lot on ingredients. As usual I wanted something simpler, in this case something that could become a cozy staple of our family dinners over these chilly winter months.

This Chicken and Leek Casserole with Gravy is quite simply chicken and leeks cooked in a gravy of stock thickened slightly with flour. The gravy is then strained off and saved for serving, while the chicken and leeks are baked topped with puff pastry.  I suggest you play with the amount of salt and freshly cracked black pepper to your taste. I think you’ll agree that it’s simply delicious!

*The original recipe actually calls for Turkey and is suggested as great way to use up Christmas leftovers.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4):

2 CHICKEN BREASTS COOKED AND CUT INTO BITE SIZED PIECES

3 LEEKS STEMMED AND FINELY SLICED

1 TBSP BUTTER

1 BOX CHICKEN STOCK – or 3 1/2 cups if using homemade

2/3 CUP CREAM – I just used 5% as this is what I keep on hand for coffee

1/2 PACKAGE PUFF PASTRY THAWED – despite the instructions, I usually find it works fine to transfer from freezer to fridge in the morning for use in the evening then just place on counter as I begin cooking

2 TBSP FLOUR

SALT & PEPPER

DIRECTIONS:

Cook the chicken (if not already cooked) using your preferred method then tear into bite sized pieces and set aside.

In a large pot melt butter over medium heat then add the leeks and sauté for 2 minutes. Reduce heat and cook covered, stirring regularly, until leeks are softened to a ‘melt in your mouth state’.

Add the chicken and flour and stir to coat. Add stock and cream and bring to a boil then remove from heat. Prepare a large bowl and strainer and pour the whole mixture into the strainer and set aside to allow all the gravy to drip into the bowl.

Meanwhile, roll pastry to the size of your baking dish and preheat oven to 375⁰.

Add the chicken and leeks to your baking dish and cover with the puff pastry. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the pastry has puffed and browned.

As the casserole cools slightly, transfer the gravy to a pot and bring to a boil to thicken slightly and reheat.

Serve warm and doused in gravy love.

Prep Time: 20 min

Cooking Time: 45-60 min

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