Chicken, Leek and Pancetta Pie

For the bank holiday weekend, I made some Portuguese Custard Tarts – I learnt to make these during a "Perfect Your Pastry" class at John Whaite's Kitchen, and it involves making a batch of rough puff pastry. I deliberately made a bit extra so that I could make a pie, and this recipe is the resulting dish. It was made up on the fly, so don't worry too much about getting the quantities exactly right! You could make any kind of white sauce for the "juice", but I followed my gran's recipe which includes a bit of lemon juice.


  • 80g smoked pancetta (cubed)
  • 450g skinless and boneless chicken thighs (diced)
  • 1 large leek (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Approximately 250ml milk
  • Juice of  ½ lemon
  • Puff pastry (I used home made, but ready made is fine)


  • Preheat the oven to 200℃ (180℃ fan).
  • Fry the pieces of pancetta in a large frying pan.
  • Once they're starting to cook, add the diced chicken thigh.
  • Once the chicken thigh is looking cooked, add the leek.
  • When all the ingredients in the pan are cooked through, transfer them to a pie dish.
  • Turn down the heat on the hob and add the butter to the frying pan so it melts.
  • Add the flour to the melted butter and mix well to form a paste.
  • Slowly add milk, a little at a time, mixing well to avoid lumps forming. You're looking to make a creamy sauce which is thick but just pourable.
  • When the mixture is almost at the consistency you want, add the juice of half a lemon and mix in well. You can also taste the sauce at this point and season with salt and pepper if you think it needs it – but remember that the pie will be salty from the pancetta.
  • Pour the sauce into the pie tin so that it covers the other ingredients.
  • Roll out the puff pastry and lay over the pie tin. You can use a bit of the sauce to help seal it around the edges. Crimping the edges with your fingers helps too.
  • Bake the pie in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the pastry looks golden and the filling is piping hot.

We served this up with some petit pois – no need for carb to accompany this because there was so much pastry on top. It's a proper, home cooked piece of comfort food and was the perfect ending to our August Bank Holiday weekend.

This article was updated on 27 July 2021