Recipe: The Scottish Arms' Cock-A-Leekie Pie

If ever a people knew how to make it through the cold winter months, it’s the Scots. And if ever there was a dish to chase away the chill, it’s the Cock-A-Leekie Pie at The Scottish Arms, where a few tweaks to owner Alastair Nisbet’s grandmother’s recipe (like swapping prunes and potatoes for cream and wine) resulted in a hearty chicken stew studded with leeks and capped with rich, flaky pastry – and transformed this Scottish classic into an STL standout.

Cock-A-Leekie Pie
Courtesy of The Scottish Arms’ Carl Hazel
10 servings

2 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white pepper
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups white wine
12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, divided
2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
1 cup flour
2 1/4 quarts (9 cups) heavy cream
1 box frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed

• Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. 

• In a large stock pot, combine the chicken stock and white wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add the chicken breasts and poach for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through.

• Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid; reserve the liquid. When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken.

• In a large sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the leeks and sweat until just tender.

• In a large sauté pan, make a thick roux by melting 8 tablespoons butter, then adding the flour and stirring constantly until lightly golden. 

• Add the cream to the poaching liquid and bring to a boil. Whisk in the roux and reduce to low heat.

• Add the leeks and shredded chicken and simmer for 20 minutes.

• Preheat the oven to the called-for temperature on the box of puff pastry.

• Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

• Fill soup bowls to within ½ inch from the rim with hot Leekie.

• Top each bowl with a square of puff pastry and brush each with melted butter.

• Bake per the instructions on the puff pastry box or until the pastry is golden brown. 

• Serve hot.