About a pie

Its been a while since I last posted here, a year almost, a year in which several life events took precedence and I just became too lazy to blog. But in an effort to get my mojo running, I’m going to TRY and update this space regularly (I did say the same last year around this time – so long for new year resolutions ha!). Being on maternity leave has given me some time to get cooking again. Most of the early part of this year was spent either throwing up or being nauseous at the sight or smell of food ..bleh! So I’m going to TRY get the ball rolling again with a few share-worthy recipes many of which saw the light of day thanks to aforementioned maternity leave and the overlapping holiday season.

In the run up to Christmas this year, I was keen to try baking puff pastry – in Bangalore – and I guess many parts of India, puff pastry is not readily available commercially. Frozen puff pastry sheets are a rarity and I tried looking it up in several stores without luck. Lucked out finally with  All Saints Bakery (Ashok Nagar) which supplies fresh puff pastry, but it needs to be ordered by the kilo on request, at least 24 hours in advance, and is priced at a very reasonable 170 Rs/kilo. Also, bear in mind that their puff pastry is made with vegetable-shortening and is not butter based. So this may be better suited to savory dishes with flavoring rather than desserts that would be best made with butter based puff pastry.

chicken pie

With several ideas in mind, I decided to go for a pot pie that was niggling in the back of my mind for some time. The result that you see in the pictures here, was not pretty, but although it may look like a lab experiment gone wrong, this is buy far the tastiest baked savory dish that has emerged from my kitchen. And yes I am prone to making exaggerated, magnanimous declarations when it comes to food, and yet I’ll stand by what I say (no really it was that good, go ask my husband).
And yes another resolution to TRY to stick to this year – take better pictures!


Chicken Pot Pie
(serves 6 portions)
For the Pie:
Bechemel sauce (see below)
Chicken with bones (boneless chicken is typical of pies, but compromises on flavor) ½ kg
Carrots 2, chopped into chunks
Leek 1, chopped into chunks
Parsley and celery 1 handful each
Paprika powder 2 tsp
1 egg, beaten
1 egg white, beaten
For the Béchamel* Sauce
Bechemel is just a fancy word for white sauce
Butter 2 tsp
Garlic 3-5 cloves, chopped
All-purpose flour (maida) 2 tsp
Milk ½ cup (add cream for a richer sauce)
Prepare the béchamel sauce:
In a pan, fry butter on low heat and add garlic
Add flour, while maintaining low heat (high heat will cause flour to brown and lumps in the sauce)
Add milk and stir till lumps are removed and a thick sauce is formed
Season with salt, pepper and sugar as per taste
Prepare the pie:
In a cast iron skillet (or any stove-to-oven saucepan), brown the garlic and onions in some butter
Add chicken and carrots and cook for 5 minutes
Add leeks, celery and parsley, pepper, paprika and cook for 10 minutes (you can also add assorted dried herbs for flavor)
Turn off the heat and add the béchamel sauce
Add the egg and stir the mixture till well combined
Roll out the puff pastry sheet to a circle slightly more than the size of your skillet/saucepan
Turn it out on top of the skillet/saucepan and press down the excess trim over the edge of the skillet/saucepan, crimp the edge with the tines of a fork to make it look fancy (I didn’t!)
Beat the egg white with a tsp of water to create an egg wash and use a pastry brush to coat the surface of the pastry with the egg wash
Pop the skillet/saucepan into a preheated oven and bake at 180C for 15 minutes or till the pastry puffs and turns golden brown


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