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Cock-a-Leekie recipe

Cock-a-Leekie recipe


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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Chicken soup
  • Chicken vegetable soup
  • Chicken leek soup
  • Cock-a-leekie soup

I prefer cock-a-leekie a little lighter and have adapted my recipe accordingly.

29 people made this

IngredientsServes: 5

  • 1 (1 to 1.3 kg) whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 75g (3 oz) sliced carrots
  • 175g (6 oz) pearl barley
  • 600ml (1 pint) water
  • 1 teaspoon chicken stock granules
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 leek, sliced

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. In a large pot combine the chicken, carrots, barley, water, stock granules and salt and pepper. Bring all to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside. Skim stock as needed.
  2. Remove chicken from pot and add leeks. Bring back to the boil; reduce heat, cover and let simmer another 15 minutes or so, until thickened.
  3. Meanwhile, skin and debone the cooked chicken. Return chicken meat to thickened stew and cook for about 5 minutes to heat through. Serve hot.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(11)

Reviews in English (9)

by wsf

I am kind of strange when it comes to "traditional" recipes, and how to review them. On the one hand, how does the recipe taste? On the other, does it really live up to the name? In this case, we are talking about a very traditional Scottish soup/stew: -a-Leekie. As far as taste goes, it is OK. It isn't a bad chicken stew, but there is nothing particularly exciting. Hence the three out of five stars. BUT... it is NOT a traditional -a-leekie! The carrots are there for the broth, and should be removed before it is served. There are no prunes in this recipe, again a part of the original dish. These may seem like minor problems, but they are vital components to the original. So, is this a good recipe: it's adequate, but it is not a true -a-leekie stew.-19 Oct 2008

by YULKA

I made it with brown rice instead of barley and it turned out wonderful. I also used only the tender part of two leeks instead of one full leek. Healthy and tasty. Good one-dish meal to eat at home or to take to work.-11 Mar 2002


Cock a Leekie Soup

Cock a Leekie Soup is a delicious winter warming dish from Scotland often served as a starter at Scottish events such as Burns Night, St Andrews Night and as a Hogmanay treat. It dates back to the 16th century when a fowl would be boiled with vegetables such as leeks to provide a filling broth and this is why it is so named.

A traditional Scottish Cock a Leekie soup recipe includes prunes though some cooks will leave the prunes out because they are not to everyone's taste. Other chefs will include the prunes in the cooking but will remove them before serving.

Other names for Cock a Leekie soup include Cock a Leeky soup and Cock-a-Leekie soup. There are also recipes for Cock a Leekie pie.


Reviews

I have made this once before, when it first appeared in Bon Appetit, and loved it. I had forgotten about it until Facebook showed a picture as a "memory." Sweet Lord. Totally awesome. This is one of those dishes that I will make once or twice a year - making winter tolerable in Michigan! The crust comes together in just a few minutes, and while the filling is a bit of work, it is superb. Both times I simply followed the recipe - the firs time in a deep dish casserole, the second time, in a cast iron skillet. Each makes a wonderful presentation - though the skillet was totally cool. (I don't use the cast iron skillet very often. Sadly, I still have images of my dad "seasoning" a cast iron skillet with lard, on the top of the stove. Yikes. My mom said she had never seen me run out of the house faster than that day.) I wondered about shredding the chicken - thinking maybe small chucks would be better - but the shredded chicken was just fine. I like it because it all holds together - the filling is not oozing out of the crust. My partner and I had it for two evenings, then I froze what was left into two packages. Frozen, thawed and baked was great. I did make some fresh mushroom gravy -mushrooms sautéed in some butter, then add some flour, cook and add warm chicken broth. Then a few splashes of soy sauce. I also increased the recipe a bit and made a few individual pot pies - 6" ramekins - for a few friends. Awesome. Something to make at least once a winter, if not twice.

This is one of the best and most decadent ways to make a chicken pie. The prunes are great in this — I appreciate that it seems super weird, but when you cook the pie the flavors meld and they add a velvety richness that is truly fantastic. I make this with turkey bacon so the butter is necessary. I also use home made chicken stock rather than broth. This recipe is a little time consuming but super easy and SO worth it. Great for a cold, rainy weekend.

Confession. I definitely omitted the prunes. But I can attest you definitely don't need them. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out amazing!! I had to stop myself from eating the entire dish by myself. I even made extra pastry to have them handy in the freezer to remake this, I might even add peas or spinach or other vegetables next time!

My husband liked this more than I did. It's a good use for leftover chicken, which saves time. No need to cook bacon in butter--it crisps up fine in its own grease, leaving enough to cook the leeks in as well. In a dish this rich, two tablespoons less fat is definitely a plus. Next time I won't chop the prunes smaller as others suggested because they just melted into everything else. But as others suggested Iɽ use wine rather than water when finishing the leeks because I think it needs more oomph.

We have made this several times since the recipe was first published in BA. It is one of the few recipes that we don't "tweak" and make according to directions, including the crust. The one change is that we chop the prunes. It's delicious and heavily requested by friend and family---we make them wait for fall or winter, and this October day everyone is very excited for dinner! Making a roasted carrot and arugula salad as a side.

This was a huge hit with everyone in the family. I did omit the prunes. Definitely will make this again. I wonder if currants would be a good substitute for the prunes

This is really, really good comfort food. I followed the recommendations of others: Used 1/4 cup of white wine instead of water to finish the leeks. Chopped the prunes more finely. Only used a top pie crust. Even if you don't think it needs it, add more salt and pepper before putting on the crust. I made a gluten-free version using rice flour for the roux and a King Arthur pie crust mix.

I made this because I accidentally bought leeks instead of fennel for another recipe and needed to use the leeks. I don't usually make recipes like this because it seems so heavy and not very healthy but it was just delicious. I had to just MAKE myself not eat a third helping. I did make a couple of changes. I bought a chicken and used 2 big cups of it. I used puff pastry on the top and wine instead of water. It was still a bit time consuming but well worth it and I will most definitely make again. I thought the prunes were just a divine addition. Thanks for the great recipe!

I thought this was delicious. I will say I was lazy and didn't make the crust. I just threw a sheet of puff pastry on top. I also cut the prunes into small pieces rather than quartering them, because although I like the prunes, I don't think I would've liked big chunks of prune. I made the filling and baked it my cast iron making it a one pot meal.

Yummy. Prunes fit in nicely. Only thing I would say is make sure you roll your top crust so its thin enough. I did not and it was too thick. Still tasted yummy tho. Iɽ like to try this again with a more traditional filling.

After reading the reviews, I opted for a roasted chicken which worked well. Also, I just did a top crust. Other than that, followed directions and we enjoyed it!

The pie was "nice", but I have to question whether the prunes are right for this recipe. There would be better ways of improving this dish. Maybe it's for American tastebuds?

This is going away the best chicken pot pie (its ilk) that I ever have tasted. Previous reviewers are right about the alternative/additional fruits. Iɽ love to try figs next. And Iɽ chop them into smaller bits than the quartered prunes yielded. Fig jam would be superb, too, I bet. Look, folks: I'm cleaning out my supplies--I made this with rancid flour and freezer-burned chicken, and furthermore was too heavy-handed with the salt shaker, yet it still yielded an amazing dish! The leeks work miracles. I can't wait to make this again (with fresh ingredients!) for friends. It's just that good. With a side o' green peas.

The pie came out nicely and looked beautiful. I did not like the prunes in the pie though and would leave them out next time. The crust was light and flaky but was buttery, so you can't eat much without feeling guilty :(.

What a fantastic dish! When you make it all at once, it is a little time consuming, but this could easily be made in stages (crust one day, filling another day) and then easily assembled and baked with minimal time and effort. I made this during "Snowzilla" so had to make do with what I had on hand - 1.6 lb of boned chicken thighs vs 2 lb, apricots and tart cherries vs prunes, beef stock vs chicken stock, a bit of onion to fill out my 2 leeks, olive oil vs butter in the filling since I used up all of my butter in the crust, dried thyme vs fresh. What we ended up with is the best dang chicken pot pie either one of us have ever eaten. The dried fruit makes this taste somewhat Christmassy some how. and it really works. Could you leave it out and still have a great pie? Sure. But it gives a very rich pie a nice bit of balance. This is a super versatile recipe and is now going into our "keeper" file!

I have made this pie twice now and have gotten rave reviews both times. In both cases, I bought a whole roasted chicken, and took all the meat from that to use in lieu of cooking chicken. Worked well.

I had great luck with this recipe and with the linked crust recipe as well. I followed it exactly the first time but had to substituted a mixture of dates and chopped dried apricots for the prunes (1/3 cup) the second time. Both were terrific (I may even have liked the apricots a bit more). An excellent recipe.

This is a wonderful recipe and surprisingly easy. I made the pie shell and filling the day before - so it was just a matter of rolling out and spooning in the stuffing. Left out the bacon (a friend doesn't eat pork) and used dried cranberries instead of prunes because I had them on hand. I also tossed in a wee bit of red pepper flakes for just a but more heat. Phenomenal. Will definitely make again.

Followed recipe to a "T", delicious!

This is so good! We've made it twice and both times it has turned out perfectly. Followed the recipe exactly (although there is no mention of what to do with the bacon once you've "transferred it" so we threw it in when you combine the leeks and chicken and prunes and thyme). The crust really is the best. My family loved the prunes (they give a surprising not-too-sweet depth to the dish) but I can see why some would prefer to leave them out. Overall, one of our favorite comfort food meals.

this was an amazing pie! My whole family really liked it. Quite a few thought that the prunes were questionnable and weren't sure why they were included. I think I'll remove them next time.

This was outstanding. Baked it in a Le Creuset enameled cast iron skillet. Used chicken thighs. Crust was the best. Made this as a part of a ɻurns night". Perfect on a snowy cold winter night.


2 Poach the chicken

Put the legs, skin on, in a large pan with two litres of cold water and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface.

Meanwhile, wash the leeks well, making sure you get rid of any grit lurking between the layers, then cut off the coarse green parts and set aside the whites until later.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless chicken thighs (on the bone 4 pieces)
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless chicken breast halves (on the bone 3 pieces)
  • Four 14 1/2-ounce cans low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
  • 2 cups white wine or water
  • 2 large celery ribs, halved crosswise
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 leeks, white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 12 pitted prunes, quartered (2/3 cup packed)
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat a 6-quart Dutch oven on medium-high until hot. Add thighs cook until browned, turning once, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with breasts.

Add broth, wine, celery, carrot, and garlic to Dutch oven. Bring to a boil scrape any browned bits from pot return chicken to pot, reduce heat, and simmer, skimming as necessary, for 1 hour. Transfer chicken to a plate let cool. Transfer vegetables to another plate reserve.

Add leeks, prunes, and barley to broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thick, about 40 minutes more. Once chicken has cooled, shred meat. Finely dice carrot and celery. Stir chicken, carrot, celery, and parsley into soup, heat through, and serve.


Perfect cock-a-leekie soup

2 chicken legs
2 large leeks
1 large carrot
1 bay leaf
100g barley (optional)
25g soft, dried prunes

Put the legs in a large pan with 2 litres of cold water and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, wash the leeks well and chop off the coarse green parts, reserving the whites for later. Wash and coarsely chop the carrot.

Skim the liquid, then turn down the heat to a very gentle simmer and add the leek tops, carrot and bay leaf to the pan. Season with a good pinch of salt and white pepper and simmer for 2 hours.

Remove the carrot, bay leaf and leek greens and discard. Add the barley if using and cook for 15 minutes, then chop the white part of the leek into chunky circles and add to the pan. Cook for about 15 minutes until the leeks and barley are soft. Meanwhile, roughly chop the prunes.

Scoop out the chicken and season the soup to taste. Pick the chicken meat from the bones and divide between bowls along with the prunes, and then pour over the soup.

Cock-a-leekie: how do you make this Scottish classic? (Or do you just open a tin of Baxters’ finest?) If you’re celebrating St Andrew’s Day, what’s on the menu? And does Scotland really make the best soups in Britain?


Preparation

Step 1

Place a rack in lower third of oven preheat to 375°. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook bacon, stirring often, until crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.

Step 2

Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook in same skillet until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Add a splash of water to skillet. Cover, reduce heat, and cook until chicken is cooked through, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Step 3

Add leeks to skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add a splash of water, cover, and cook until leeks are very soft, 5–7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Shred chicken and add to leeks along with thyme leaves, prunes, and and reserved bacon.

Step 4

Melt remaining 4 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in ⅓ cup flour and cook, whisking constantly, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Whisk in broth, adding a little at a time, until smooth. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5–7 minutes. Mix sauce into leek mixture season with salt and pepper. Let cool.

Step 5

Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to a 14” round. Transfer to a 10” cast-iron skillet or a 9½”-diameter deep pie dish. Lift up edge and let dough slump down into dish. Trim, leaving a 1” overhang. Spoon filling into skillet. Roll out second disk of dough to 11” round. Drape over filling and trim to a 1” overhang. Fold overhang under crimp with a fork. Cut a few vents in top brush with egg.

Step 6

Bake until crust is golden brown, 50–60 minutes. Let pie cool slightly.

Step 7

DO AHEAD: Filling can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

How would you rate Cock-a-Leekie Pie?

I made this recipe to celebrate Pi Day (3/14) and it turned out fantastic! The crust was savory and had the perfect texture for a hearty pie. For the filling I used one large chicken breast, four chicken thighs, two wild speck breasts, and added button mushrooms. The speck is very lean and has a little gaminess to it. I was not able to shred it like the chicken breast and thighs, so I diced it up into small pieces. after cooking in the pie for an hour those small pieces broke down and became more tender. It was a nice happy medium with lean cuts and the tender thighs. The leeks cooked down perfectly and made for a delicious base for the filling. After letting it rest for 20 minutes I cut into it and the filling did not run all over the place. I could cut pieces out and everything stayed together. It was a perfect pie for Pi Day!

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Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 leek, tops separated and cut into big chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 to 15 prunes
  • 2 pounds leftover chicken
  • Salt, to taste

In a stockpot, warm the butter over medium heat. Add the leek tops, celery and carrot sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, peppercorns and dill and sauté until the liquid evaporates, another 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bay leaves and bring to a simmer reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the broth, rinse out the stockpot and return the stockpot and broth to the heat.

Increase heat to medium-low, then add the leek bottoms, prunes and leftover chicken. Simmer until the leeks are softened, about 20 minutes, then add salt to taste and serve.


Slow Cooker Chicken Cock-A-Leekie Soup

I recently spied a recipe for Chicken Cock-a-Leekie Soup on Pinterest. But when I followed the link, it didn’t take me to a recipe. Don’t you hate that?

But, the name had me curious, so I started searching for more about the recipe. I found out that Chicken Cock-a-Leekie Soup is a traditional Scottish recipe. I’ve got a thing for Scotland recently. It started with discovering the TV show Monarch of the Glen on Netflix, which takes place in Scotland. The sense of place in that show is so prominent, it’s like one of the characters. Every scene is beautiful.

Scotland seems to be popping up every where I look lately. We’ve even got a Scottish singer coming to our church on Sunday. I’m ridiculously excited about that. I am fairly introverted, but I really want to talk to this man. I’m afraid he might think I’m a bit crazy if I tell him I’m infatuated with his country. That I’ve watched the TV show and made the soup.

Onto the soup…It seems there are a lot of ways to make this traditional dish. Some recipes have rice, some have barley. All of them have chicken, leeks and prunes.

Yes, prunes in soup. I wasn’t too sure about that myself. I found recipes that cooked the prunes in the soup and others that used prunes as a topping. I decided to go the topping route. That way, if someone didn’t like the thought of it, they could pass.

The soup itself is a basic chicken soup that is comforting and nourishing. Surprisingly, the prunes paired beautifully with the flavors in the soup. The rich, sweet taste of the prunes complimented the more savory flavors of chicken and leeks. Even if you don’t think you’ll like the prunes, please give the topping a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Plus, you’ll feel authentically Scottish while eating it.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

I used the same method for cooking the chicken right in the soup that I used for White Chicken Chili. I used two large chicken breasts with bones and placed them in the bottom of the slow cooker. They lend a homemade flavor to the broth and cook along with the rest of the soup. Before serving, remove the chicken breasts and take the meat off the bones, returning the meat to the slow cooker.


Slow-Cooker Cock-a-Leekie Soup

  • It may have the funniest name for a soup you've ever heard, but it's actually tasty – and fun to serve!

I dare you to say the name of this soup three times and not crack a smile. It’s impossible! It’s the funniest soup name I’ve ever heard, which I guess isn’t saying that much.

The history of this soup goes back many centuries. It’s a traditional soup from Medieval times and gets its odd name from its two main ingredients: Chicken and leeks.

Some things stand the tests of time and Cock-a-Leekie Soup is one of those things. It’s peasant food at its core, but perfectly simple to make and great on a cold winter night.

This soup really has no exotic ingredients. All of the things are basic and can be found in any supermarket. I’ve adapted this version for a slow cooker to make it even easier to make.

If you’ve never worked with leeks before, they have a light onion flavor. Sometimes you want to dice them tiny for recipes, but for this soup you want to leave the leeks in large coins, which makes them easy to slice.

When you are slicing them, just go up until the leeks turns a light green color. Don’t go too far up the stalk or the veggie will get stringy.

To start the soup, just add the ingredients to a slow cooker. In my opinion, the most important ingredient (besides the chicken and the leeks) is a big strip or two of lemon peel. This gives the soup a light lemon flavor as it cooks.

Add Progresso chicken broth to the slow cooker and enough water to almost cover the chicken. Depending on the size of your slow cooker, you might need a cup or two of water.

Cover this and cook it on low heat for about four hours. Then remove the chicken and shred it into large chunks.

Add the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker along with some pearled barley.

Cover the soup again and let it cook for another two hours so the barley softens. Then serve it up garnished with parsley!

Doesn’t get easier than that! Go forth, young cooks, and spread the cock-a-leekie word.


Watch the video: Gluten Free Cock-a-leekie Soup (June 2022).