In the Kitchen
Former Il Casino chefs Mike and Geoff Moug and Suilian Chan bring their Italian cooking experience to Bellagio Cafe in Hataitai.
The trio were cooking together at the Italian restaurant when they decided, five years ago, to go out alone and set up their own cafe.
Since then, they've been offering simple cafe breakfast and lunch food, catering and dinners three nights a week.
The chicken and leek pie recipe was created when a former cafe owner asked them to make a pie for her husband, a pie fan.
"It turns out that he likes steak and kidney pies but that recipe stuck and it's now one of our most popular pies," says Mike Moug.
To get this recipe right requires planning as the mixture needs to be left to cool overnight, so it's not ideal for guests arriving the same day.
CHICKEN AND LEEK PIE
Makes six pies
One packet of flaky pastry with about four to five sheets
5 to 6 free range chicken thighs
2 Tbsp of butter
2 Tbsp of flour
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
1 1/2 to 2 cups of cream
2 Tbsp of fresh Italian parsley
1/2 a leek
1 Tbsp of tarragon
1/2 Tbsp of cayenne pepper
Dice the chicken thighs and colour them in a fry pan. Melt butter and add the flour in a separate saucepan, making a roux. Add the liquid – chicken stock and cream – ensuring there are no lumps and bring the mixture to the boil. Simmer for two minutes. Add the chicken thighs and bring to the boil. Boil the diced leeks in a separate pot until soft. Add to the chicken mixture. Add herbs. Bring to the boil and season with pepper and salt. Let the mixture cool until the next day. Mould pastry into pie dishes and spoon mixture into each. Add egg wash to the pastry lid. Put in the oven and bake at 180 degrees Celsius.
- The Dominion Post