Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spiced Chicken Pot Pie

Time for another acrimonious debate. I scurry with dinner prep. Shortcuts are vital to quick meals, so the pot pie I bake will consist of cooked chicken, frozen peas, boiled potatoes and carrots and store bought puff pastry. Having said that I plan to tweak the All American version with an Indian spin. My pot pie is not the white sauce variety as I begin with an abbreviated brown stew, a Goan staple. Onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes makes the base in which chicken cooks along with spices and vegetables. In this recipe I shorten the cooking process, using cooked chicken, boiled veggies, some scant gravy and simple spices. 

Onions turn golden brown in a little oil. Generous teaspoons of ginger and garlic paste along with pulped tomatoes thicken the base. I toss in handfuls of cooked shredded chicken and boiled vegetables. Chile powder, salt and blizzard of pepper are sufficient seasonings. Piled into an oven proof dish and covered with puff pastry, the pie goes into a hot oven. Before you know it, you have a golden brown crusty pie!

Makes 2-4 servings 

1 sheet store-bought frozen Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
1-2 tablespoons Flour
2 cups cooked and shredded Chicken or Turkey
2 tablespoons Canola Oil 
1 large Onion
1 teaspoon Ginger paste or 3 Ginger Slices
1 teaspoon Garlic paste
2 large Tomatoes 
2 Potatoes, boiled and cubed
2 Carrots, boiled and sliced
1/2 cup frozen Peas
1/2 teaspoon Chile Powder 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
1 teaspoon Black Pepper 
1 Egg

Defrost puff pastry while you prep the chicken base.

Cut onion and tomatoes into thin slices.

Heat oil in a saucepan.

Fry onion in oil till golden brown.

Add ginger garlic pastes and tomatoes and saute for 3-4 minutes till tomatoes have softened.

Add chicken and spices to sauce. Stir to mix, cover saucepan and let chicken fry on a low flame for 5-10 minutes. Stir often so chicken doesn't stick to the pan. You might add a few tablespoons of water if it does stick.

Add boiled potatoes, carrots and peas to chicken. 

Season with salt and pepper.

Heat oven to 375F.

Scatter flour over counter.

Divide chicken into two oven proof dishes for individual portions. ALTERNATELY arrange chicken in a 8 inch round glass pie plate for family style dining.

Lay puff pastry on flour. Cut pastry into half with a sharp knife if you are doing two dishes. Keep the pastry while if you are using a pie plate.

Cover chicken with pastry, tucking in the edges to fit the dish. Press down on the outer edges of the dishes or plate.

Using the tip of a knife make holes in pastry for the steam to escape.

Break egg into a bowl and beat with fork to mix.

Brush puff pastry with beaten egg liberally.

Place dishes or plate on a baking tray and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Remove from oven and eat while hot. Puff pastry isn't conducive to cold meals. 

Dinner takes longer with a few distractions. So the pot pie makes a convenient TV meal. The Republicans debate with barely concealed restraint and recriminations. My eye goes from fork to screen with ease. After a while the pie looks more interesting than any on screen persona. Degustation overcomes disgust!