Chicken leg, blue cheese and nettle pie

  • 2-3
  • A little tricky

Make a warming spring pie from freshly foraged nettles

Chicken leg, blue cheese and nettle pie

Choose an ovenproof saucepan for this dish and you’ll have minimal washing up! Serve with lots of steamed vegetables on the side.



For the pastry

  • Plain flour 120 g/4.25 oz/1 cup minus 1.5 tbsp, plus extra for the work surface
  • Salted butter 60 g/2 oz/ 0.5 stick, cold and cubed
  • Cold water 1-2 tbsp
  • Salt a pinch
  • Egg 1, beaten, for brushing

For the filling

  • Oil for frying
  • Onions 2, finely chopped
  • Garlic cloves 6, finely chopped
  • Fresh parsley a bunch, stalks and leaves separated, both finely chopped
  • Fresh thyme leaves Small bunch, leaves picked and chopped
  • Leeks 2, sliced
  • Salted butter 75 g/22⁄3 oz/3⁄4 stick
  • Plain flour 50 g/13⁄4 oz/generous 1⁄3 cup
  • Milk 250 ml/81⁄2 fl oz/1 cup, or stock
  • Mustard 1 tbsp
  • Salt
  • Fresh nettles very large handful, leaves picked wearing gloves, plus extra
  • Chicken 1, cooked leg meat from 1 chicken

To garnish (optional)

  • Blue cheese 80 g/3 oz, cubed


  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 200°c fan/220°c/425°f/gas mark 7.

  • Step 2

    Start by making the pastry, which doesn’t take long at all… Put the flour, butter, cold water and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Using your fingertips and working quickly, rub the cubed butter into the flour until it becomes the texture of coarse breadcrumbs. Now bring the dough together into a smooth ball with your hands, kneading a little and adding a dash more cold water if needed. Lightly flour a work surface and use a rolling pin to roll the pastry out into a circle, roughly the same size as your pan and about 2.5 cm/1⁄2 inch thick. Carefully transfer the pastry to a plate, cover with a kitchen towel and leave in the fridge while you make the filling.

  • Step 3

    Put a few glugs of oil into a large ovenproof saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onions, garlic, parsley stalks and thyme and sauté until soft. Add the sliced leeks and continue cooking for 5 minutes until soft.


  • Step 4

    Add the butter and let it melt. Add the flour and stir around all the vegetables to let it cook out for 5 minutes. Now slowly add the milk (or stock), little by little, stirring with each addition until it’s combined into a smooth sauce surrounded by vegetables. Add the cooked chicken leg meat, mustard, a pinch of salt, chopped parsley leaves and nettle leaves to the sauce. Add the blue cheese and give the sauce a final stir. Heat through until the cheese is melted and combined and then turn off the heat.

  • Step 5

    Take the pastry out of the fridge and layer it on top of the sauce, pushing it down slightly around the edges. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg then bake for 35–40 minutes until the pastry is golden. If you want to decorate the pie top with extra nettles they will need to be cooked, so 5 minutes before the end of cooking time remove the pie, place the nettles on top and brush with a little more egg wash before baking for the final 5 minutes. Serve.


Recipe from 30 Easy Ways to Join the Food Revolution by Ollie Hunter, published by Pavilion Books. Photography by Louise Hagger.

30 Easy Ways to Join the Food Revolution recipe book