Turkey & Leek pie


This pie is a must-have at Christmas in our house. Over the years we have developed a tradition whereby we have Christmas dinner No.1 which is the traditional turkey, ham, potatoes roasted in goose fat, stuffing, veg, pigs in blankets and gravy, on St Stephens Day we have Christmas dinner No. 2  which is more or less the same with freshly cooked roast potatoes and different veg  which I enjoy even more than dinner on Christmas Day! ) and then we have Christmas dinner No.3 which is the Turkey Pie. My adult children now insist that we stick to this routine and no matter what they have on they all manage to be here for these 3 dinners ! It is a nice way to extend Christmas to be honest and for us all to have dinner together. The pie in particular is a really nice change and a great way to use up leftover cooked meat – any mixture of turkey and / or ham can be used and of course this pie can be made anytime with cooked chicken. Happy Christmas to you all and happy cooking in 2018! x


Serves 4-6

Approx. 30 minutes prep & 45 minutes in the oven


50g butter plus extra for greasing
1 onion sliced
1 large leek, trimmed & sliced
250g button mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon plain flour
250ml chicken stock
100ml cream
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
900g cooked turkey cut into chunks(or mixture of ham, turkey or chicken)
200/225g ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg lightly beaten
Salt & freshly ground black pepper


How to make it!

  • Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5
  • Heat the butter in a sauté pan
  • Add the onion, garlic, leek and mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened but not coloured
  • Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously
  • Gradually pour the stock into the pan followed by the cream, stirring until smooth after each addition
  • Add the bay leaf, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally
  • Stir in the parsley, season to taste and set aside to cool.
  • Cover the sauce with a buttered circle of non-stick parchment paper to prevent a skin forming
  • Place the cooked turkey / meat in a 1.75L (3 pint) pie dish and ladle over the sauce
  • Stir gently to combine.
  • Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 0.5cm/¼cm on a lightly floured surface to fit the top of the pie dish making sure that it is large enough to hang over the edges like a ‘blanket’.
  • Place the pastry lid on top of the pie, trimming it down to fit and brush around the edges with a little water to help it stick, then press down along the sides to seal.
  • Cut a small slit in the pastry lid to allow the steam to escape
  • Cut out a few decorative pastry leaves to put in the centre of the pastry lid.(optional)
  • Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 45 minutes or until the pastry is nicely puffed up and golden brown.

Serve with some creamy mashed potato and enjoy!


Casserole Roast Chicken

Roast chicken with roast potatoes, stuffing and gravy is without doubt one of the most popular dinners in our house. Cooking roast chicken used to freak me out a bit, I don’t know why but I always thought of it as a complicated dinner. Then I came across this simple and foolproof one-pot method which absolutely rocks. I discovered it when I was in Ballymaloe House (on a 2-day course which I was so lucky to win as a prize!) a few years ago. So no roasting tray, racks, cooking bags etc – it just cooks in the one pot in which all the juices collect and from which you can make your gravy.  So no need to fear cooking roast chicken any more – if you haven’t done it before give this a try and you won’t look back.   Continue reading

Stuffed chicken breast with leeks & bacon

Chicken stuffed leeks & bacon

I am often scratching my head trying to do something different or interesting with skinless chicken breasts. During the week it is all about speed and simplicity so my ‘go to’ recipe would be my chicken breasts with honey and mustard or perhaps a stir-fry or a curry. At the weekend I try to do something a little fancier if I have the time and this stuffed chicken is one of those dishes. This would also be a great dish to do if you were having anyone for dinner as it can be prepared in advance. As well as being delicious and moist, it is also a very healthy way to cook the chicken. I have used a leek & bacon mixture in the stuffing but you could equally invent your own or use the traditional sage & onion stuffing where any leftover chicken sliced thinly and would make a pretty tasty sandwich the next day. I am all for this type of cooking where a little bit extra or leftover can sort lunches for the next day.  Continue reading

Chicken & Vegetable Soup

Chicken & Veg Soup 2

I am not one for making New Year resolutions as I find it hard enough to get through the dark and dreary month of January without making it even tougher. Anyway most resolutions tend to be based on things we feel guilty about like eating and drinking too much over Christmas. (Why do we do this to ourselves?!) I would encourage anyone who is considering going on a diet now to scrap the guilt and instead consider being kind to yourself by cooking and eating real food and cutting back on sugar and processed foods. However, making wholesale changes to eating habits can be overwhelming and difficult to do all at once so another approach is to  start gradually by focussing on one meal in the day for a start e.g. for the first week / month resolve to eat a good, healthy breakfast or lunch each day.    Continue reading

Buttermilk Roast Chicken with Leeks & Bacon

Buttermilk chicken 1

This is a recipe I got on a cookery course I did in The Tannery Cookery School in Dungarvan with Paul Flynn. I love it because it is great for a quick weekday dinner but also is fancy enough to serve if having friends over for dinner. It is a brilliant recipe to have in your repertoire of dishes that are quick, easy, delicious and healthy.

Continue reading

Chicken Breasts with honey & mustard

This is one of my fall-back recipes when I don’t have much time as it is quick, easy to prepare and very tasty. You only need a few ingredients one of which is Dijon mustard – don’t be put off by this and think that the chicken will taste of mustard, take my word for it, it doesn’t.

Tip: I often cook an extra piece (or two) of chicken as it tastes just as good when it is cold, in a sandwich or in a salad, the next day. You can cook potato wedges (see separate recipe) at the same time to have with it.

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Turn on the oven to 180°C


Mix together the honey and mustard in a large bowl.

Add the chicken breasts and mix well with the honey & mustard

Put the chicken in an oven proof dish (or foil tray if you want to save on the washing up!)

Drizzle with olive oil

Season with salt & pepper.

Pop into the oven for 30 / 40 mins

Slice each chicken breast and serve with any green veg and mashed potatoes or potato wedges