Chicken Pot Pie

I am convinced that anything involving puff pastry will taste good. I’m yet to taste a puff pastry-related item of food that I haven’t liked. Its a genius invention really. So when I first saw a chicken pot pie recipe on Fauzia Kitchen Fun, I knew it was going to become a favourite before I’d even tried it!

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Making more use of the good ol’ heart-shaped cookie cutter. Check out how I used it on my chocolate tart too!

I only wish I’d discovered puff pastry sooner–as in while I was living in London and I could buy it rolled out, ready to use! Here in Pakistan, I have to call up my local bakery a day in advance and give them an order for it. I then get it in a big block which is always a complete nightmare to roll out… I persist nonetheless because as stated above, puff pastry makes everything taste good!

Anywho, here is my take on Fauzia’s awesome recipe. I changed the ingredients slightly but followed her overall method:

Ingredients: 

Two sheets of puff pastry
1 brocolli head
250g boneless chicken, chopped into small pieces
1 carrot, chopped into small pieces
2 cups of water
1/4 tsp garlic paste
a pinch each of salt and pepper
4 mushrooms, roughly chopped
1.5 tbsp butter
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken stock (retained, see recipe for details)
2 tbsp fresh corriander, chopped 
1 green chilli
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of red chilli pepper (optional)
1 egg, beaten

First of all, bake one of the pastry sheets in your pie dish for approximately 15 mins at 200 degrees Celsius. Be sure to poke lots of holes in it with a fork first so that it puffs up a minimal amount. Then set aside.

Cut your brocolli into small bitesize pieces and parboil (i.e. put into a pot of boiling water for no more than 3 minutes, take out into a sieve and run under cold water). I like to use the same water for the next step, which is to measure out 2 cups and add the chicken, carrots, garlic paste, salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is boiled through and the carrots are soft-ish (approximately 15-20 minutes on a medium-low heat).

Now, drain the chicken and carrots but keep 1 cup of the stock aside. Add the brocolli and chopped mushrooms to the chicken and carrots. In a pan, heat the butter and olive oil, and add the onion. Stir until the onion is soft and translucent, then add the flour. At this stage, make sure you use a whisk to stir continuously so your roux doesn’t have any lumps in it.

Add the milk and stock, a little at a time, stirring as you go. When all the liquid has been added, keep stirring and cooking till the mixture is of a custard-like consistency. Then add the chicken and vegetables and stir till combined for a few minutes. Adjust your seasonings. Switch off the heat and stir in the corriander and green chilli.

*two things to note: 1) when making any kind of white sauce, I prefer not to use a non-stick pan as I’ll be whisking a lot and don’t want to ruin the coating. So as you can see here, I went for a regular steel pan. 2) here, I’ve doubled the recipe, that’s why this looks like a lot of filling! I then froze half for next time.

Let this mixture cool completely. Then, pour onto your baked pie crust.

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The remaining filling ready to freeze behind the pie

Cover with the uncooked sheet of pastry making sure to NEVER stretch your pastry to fit! Always roll out if needed; stretching will only make it shrink when it bakes, causing your filling to ooze out.

Once your pie is topped, crimp the edges of the pastry to seal the filling in, then cut a few slits onto the top to allow steam to escape while it bakes. If you have any excess pastry hanging off the side, simply cut it off. I then used a cookie cutter to cut out hearts and put them on top.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Brush over some beaten egg, which will give it a lovely colour once its done. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for approximately 40-45 mins (I switch on the grill setting during the last 5 minutes to ensure my pie has a nice, golden top).

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Leftovers!

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