Chicken and leek suet pudding

Preparation time
1-2 hours

Cooking time
over 2 hours

Serves
Serves 4



From Hairy Bikers – Chicken & Egg

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 500g/1lb 2oz diced chicken (a mixture of skinned thighs and breasts)
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • a few white peppercorns, crushed
  • a few fresh sage leaves
  • 100ml/3½fl oz white wine or vermouth
  • 250g/9oz leeks, trimmed and sliced into 2cm/¾in-thick rounds
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • 150ml/5fl oz chicken stock
  • salt

For the pastry

  • 225g/8oz self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp rubbed sage or ½ tsp dried sage
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • 100g/3½oz suet
  • 100–150ml/3½fl oz–5fl oz milk
  • knob of butter, for greasing

Method

  1. For the filling, put the chicken, lemon zest, peppercorns and sage in a bowl. Add the wine, cover and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour, or overnight.

  2. For the pastry, put the flour, baking powder, rubbed sage and mustard powder in a bowl. Mix thoroughly until combined. Add the suet and rub it into the flour until you reach a breadcrumb consistency. Gradually add the milk, cutting it in with a knife until the mixture comes together as a soft dough that is not at all sticky.

  3. Set aside about a quarter of the pastry to make the lid. Roll out the remaining pastry on a lightly floured work surface to form a large circle (approximately 30cm/12in). Grease a 1.2 litre/2 pint pudding bowl with butter. Cover the bottom of the bowl with a small circle of baking paper. Line the bowl with the pastry, making sure the sides are fully covered and any joins are well sealed. Roll out the remaining pastry to make the pie lid and set it aside while you finish the filling.

  4. Add the leeks to the marinated chicken. Mix the flour with the mustard powder and season with salt. Add the flour mixture to the chicken and leeks and mix well to combine. Spoon into the lined pudding basin and slowly pour in the stock. Place the pastry lid on top of the filling and press the edges together to ensure the filling is well sealed.

  5. Cover the lid with a circle of baking paper. Take a piece of aluminium foil and fold a thick pleat into it. Mould it around the top of the pudding, tie with cook's string or secure with a sturdy elastic band. Sit the pudding bowl on an upturned saucer in the bottom of a large, lidded pan. Pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the bowl. Put a lid on the pan and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and let the pudding steam for 2 hours. Top up the boiling water, if necessary, so the pan doesn’t boil dry.

  6. To serve, remove the foil lid and run a palette knife around the rim of the pudding. Turn out onto a plate and serve piping hot.

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