With Easter, Songkran holidays, and a lot of cat visits to the vet, I’ve not posted for a while. Here’s an easy festive pie to make up for the silence. With some mashed potato and baked pumpkin on the side, it feeds 8-10 people.
The puff pastry is bought frozen, so all you do is roll it out. (If you live in a tropical climate – as I do – just take it out of the fridge about 20 minutes before rolling out. Any longer and I find it gets floppy and difficult to handle.)
1 or 2 large onions, chopped
3-4 large cloves of garlic
½ kg of chicken breast, sliced
1 chicken stock cube, dissolved in hot water
Small tray of mushrooms, any kind – I used shiitake
1 large carrot, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
Parsley, chopped – I added coriander too, but it’s fine to do without
Salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
First, assemble your ingredients.
Fry the onions and garlic for a couple minutes, till soft and fragrant. Add the carrot.
When it’s changed colour a little, add the sliced chicken, and brown it all over.
Add the chicken stock and mushrooms. Have this bubble away gently for a bit, until the liquid has reduced a little.
If it seems too watery, sprinkle some plain flour over the top to thicken it. Add the peas. If you like the dairy taste of cream, add a little thin cream to the mix. When the peas look cooked (probably in five minutes), transfer the mix to an ovenproof dish.
For everyone to get some of the pastry topping, you should use a wide dish, like the rectangular casserole dish in the picture.
Meanwhile, having left the puff pastry out of the fridge to thaw out a little, roll it out. Ensure there is enough of it to fit over the top of the dish with some overhang to spare. Now for the interesting assembly of the pot pie.
Make some decorative cutouts in the pastry so that steam can escape.
Arrange the pastry over the chicken mix in the dish. Press the pastry overhang around the rim of the dish to make a seal. You can trim it all round so that it’s even, and then pinch it at intervals or press with a fork to make an attractive border. Finally (and I always love this bit) paint the pastry all over with the beaten egg, to ensure a nice golden crust.
Bake in a hot oven (175-200 C) for about 25 minutes, and here’s what you get.
For an easy accompaniment, I stuck some large pieces of pumpkin in the bottom shelf, sprinkled with a little olive oil, thyme and sea salt. Beautiful.