If you were wondering how come there’s a sudden increase in Chicken Pies’ photos in your facebook stream, or instagram it’s because this week’s Bake Along‘s theme is Chicken Pie. This is my first time participating in the challenge and I hope I will be diligent enough to continue.
Most chicken pies have all-too-common leek, mushrooms or just mixed frozen vegetables fillings. Don’t get me wrong as I love all kinds of chicken pies, but these can sometimes be quite bland if not cooked well. I’ve seen a couple of curry chicken fillings as well but I wasn’t in the mood for curry. Then a light bulb appeared on the top of my head and I decided to use one of my favourite chicken dish as filling: Tao You Chicken (Chicken braised in five spice and soy sauce). It kinda reminds me of pastry with char siu fillings with the strong colours and flavours, so why not? Inspiration is a beautiful thing.
I’ve used ready-made puff pastry this time because there was a fresh packet in the freezer which was intended for some apple tart tatin. Having left it to last minute I didn’t want to risk making my own pastry. Pampas is a good brand for puff pastry as they are extremely flaky and light. However, I don’t like the short crust pastry from them…. they are also easier to make at home anyway.
Braised 5 Spice and Soy Sauce Chicken
3 large chicken drumsticks (make a few cuts so they cook faster)
1 carrot, roughly chopped
8 Rehydrated Shitake Mushrooms, cut into bite size
1 packet of Enoki Mushrooms, cut into bite size
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
Zest of one Orange
3 tablespoons Light soy sauce
3 tablespoons Dark soy sauce
1 generous splash of Shao Xing Wine
2 tablespoons Spicy Soya Bean Paste (non spicy is ok too)
1 thumb size Rock sugar
2 Chili Padi, chopped (if using less spicy chili feel free to add more)
Ready Made Puff Pastry, thawed
1 Egg for egg wash
Heat oil on a heavy pan. Cook shallot and garlic until aromatic. Add chicken drumsticks and sear all sides. Throw in the carrot and shitake mushrooms. Then add Shao Xing Wine, Light + Dark Soy Sauce, Rock Sugar, Soya Bean Paste and Water. Grated the orange zest in. Cover and braised for at least 45 minutes, stiring once in a while. Add chopped chili halfway.
When the gravy has become thick and sticky and the chicken become tender, add enoki mushrooms and cook for another minute. Taste and add more soy sauce if needed. Switch off the heat and let the mixture cool. Debone the chicken. Now you have your filling ready.
Preheat the oven to 180 degree celsius. Lightly grease the cupcake/muffin tin.
Measure out the diameter and cut rounds off puff pastry accordingly. I had used a small bowl for that. The tops would be slightly smaller. Line the pastry in the mould carefully, followed by the fillings (about 2 tablespoons full). Place the top on the pinch the sides until sealed. I have left mine slightly rustic looking though. Cut shapes out of the leftover pastry to decorate.
Brush egg wash all over the top. It doesn’t have to be all egg yolk, I prefer to mix the white for a less ‘severe’ colour.
And after about 25 minutes…..
Anyway, my roaring tummy was urging me to taste test so here goes.
It tastes better than expected! Chicken was flavorful and juicy. The aroma of the orange zest really comes through with every bite, and the mushrooms and soy sauce combo definitely brings heaps of umami factor. Combined with flaky pastry, that just hit all the right notes! Mmmm. Next time I’ll make the pork version! Thanks Lena from Frozen Wings, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids for this Bake Along theme. It was fun! Do check out the linky for other fabulous Chicken Pies!
So what other unsual pie fillings have you tried?
I have also posted this in Recipe box # 7 by Bizzy Bakes.