Leftover chicken pie

Leftover chicken pie

B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself

In our house, a chicken gets three goes: roasted on day one, turned into a pie on day two, and as chicken and vegetable soup on day three. This recipe is probably the closest thing I’ve got to a ‘signature bake’ and it’s the dinner that friends and family request the most. It’s really economical and we look forward to it more than we do the Sunday roast the day before. Absolutely delicious on a cold Monday evening!


Quantity Ingredient

For the shortcrust pastry

Quantity Ingredient
300g plain flour, plus more to dust
1/2 teaspoon table salt
75g unsalted butter, chilled and chopped
75g lard, chilled and chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
100g smoked streaky bacon, chopped
2 teaspoons sunflower oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 leek, sliced about 5 mm thick
400ml chicken stock, or leftover gravy if you have it
2 carrots, chopped
4 leftover roast potatoes, chopped
200g roast chicken, cold and chopped, (ideally dark meat)
1 tablespoon dried italian mixed herbs
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 teaspoons plain flour
60ml milk
30g frozen peas
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
rolling pin
22 cm shallow pie tin
pastry brush


  1. First make the pastry. Put the flour and salt in a bowl, add the butter and lard and rub together until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Gradually add up to 4 tablespoons of cold water, continuing to mix by hand until the dough starts to come together. Cut the dough in half. Shape each half lightly into a ball, flatten to a disc of around 15 cm, separately wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Lightly fry the bacon in the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and continue to fry until it softens and turns translucent. Add the leek and cook until it wilts. Pour in the stock or gravy. Add the carrots, potatoes and chicken with the herbs and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10–20 minutes, until the mixture has reduced a little.
  3. In a small saucepan, mix the butter and flour over a low heat until it forms a paste, add the milk and mix to a smooth paste. Stir the paste and the peas into the chicken mixture, season with salt and pepper to taste and heat through, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Leave to cool. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  4. Take the cold pastry out of the fridge and roll one half of it out on a floured work surface to a circle about 25 cm in diameter. Roll the pastry up on the rolling pin, then lay into a 22 cm shallow pie tin, using your fingers to gently push it into the dish. Pour in the cold filling: be careful – you don’t want to get any on the rim of pastry or you won’t get it to seal and your filling will leak out. Brush the pie rim with plenty of beaten egg.
  5. Roll out the second disc of pastry to about 25 cm in diameter. Lay it on top of the pie and trim off the excess with a knife. Crimp the top and bottom layers together either with your fingers or by pressing down with the back of a fork. Roll together the pastry offcuts and cut out leaf shapes (or any other shape) to decorate the pie. Stick these bits to the pie with a little egg, then brush the top of the pie with more egg. Make a few slashes in the pastry to allow steam to escape.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot and try not to fight over who gets seconds.


  • This recipe has a level 1 (beginner) difficulty.


  • ‘Leftover’ pies are one of those things that everyone should learn how to make. Whatever you’ve got lying about in the fridge can go in: a bit of ham, some scraps from a leg of lamb. My usual method is to work back from what the original meal was and stick it into a pie (which is why I think a few leftover roast potatoes in there are lovely). If you have any leftover gravy, be aware that it will be quite salty, so taste as you go. I’ve done this recipe with Italian mixed herbs, but only because we’ve always got them lying around. Try a few teaspoons of fresh thyme and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice instead to put a bit of zing into the mix. Make these loads, though, and the next day, boil up that chicken carcass and make soup.
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