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Darren Purchese's chicken, leek and pancetta pie

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For a comforting classic, make this chicken, pancetta and leek pie. With a flaky, homemade pastry, this recipe is a guaranteed winner.

  • Serves4
  • Cook time55 minutes
  • Prep time40 minutes, + chilling time


  • 200g pancetta or bacon, chopped
  • 6-8 (about 800g) Coles RSPCA Approved Australian Chicken Thigh Fillets, cut into 2cm pieces
  • Sea salt flakes and white pepper, to season
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 2 leeks, pale section only, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 5 thyme springs, chopped
  • 200ml white wine
  • 60g plain flour
  • 150ml thickened cream
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 100g frozen baby peas
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • Egg wash (2 egg yolks and a splash of thickened cream), to brush
  • 500g plain flour, sifted
  • 250g chilled unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 180ml chilled water

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.

Percentage Daily Intake information on our recipes is calculated using the nutrition reference values for an average Australian adult.


  1. Step 1

    To make the quick flaky pastry, place the flour in a large bowl. Cut the cold butter into even-sized cubes and add to the flour in the bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have an even, fine sandy texture with no large lumps of butter. Add the water and use your hands to bring the dough together. Mix until the dough just comes together (don’t overwork the dough). Bring the dough together into a ball. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and flatten it with your hand. Place in the fridge for up to 1 hour to rest and chill. Roll out the dough on a piece of baking paper to a 5mm-thick disc. Place in the fridge to chill again.
  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, in a large heavy-based saucepan, gently cook the pancetta or bacon over medium heat until it is golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pancetta or bacon to a plate, leaving the rendered fat in the pan.
  3. Step 3

    Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in the pan. Cook the chicken, in 2 batches, stirring, for 4-5 mins or until light golden. Add the chicken to the pancetta or bacon on the plate.
  4. Step 4

    Add the onion, celery and leek to the pan and season with a little salt. Cook the vegetables for 2-3 mins or until onion softens. Add the garlic and thyme. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, until soft. Increase heat to medium-high and add the wine to deglaze the pan. Bring to a simmer and simmer until the liquid is almost completely reduced. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring until well combined. Stir in the stock.
  5. Step 5

    Return the pancetta or bacon and chicken to the pan along with any juices. Simmer, stirring, for 3 mins. Add the cream, chopped parsley and peas and bring to a simmer. Add the vinegar. Season. Spoon the chicken mixture into four pie tins and place in the fridge to cool.
  6. Step 6

    Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut the pastry into strips. Brush a little of the egg wash around the edges of the tins. Arrange the pastry over the chicken mixture and crimp with your thumb. Trim excess pastry with a knife. Brush with more egg wash. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.