Hello everyone, I’m Jialing, and I’ll be taking over Amcarmen’s Kitchen for this week, so watch this space for my experimental Filipino fusion recipes! Like Allison, I come from a Filipino background, but didn’t really start doing a lot of cooking until my university years. My cooking style is… hazardous… I may set off the occasional fire alarm, or forget a key ingredient or two, but don’t worry! My recipes for this week have been Amcarmen-approved. Today’s recipe features one of my favourites, Chicken Pastel, which is a cream-based chicken and vegetable dish, typically eaten with rice, as typical with most Filipino cuisine.
Today’s recipe came into existence after I made a batch of chicken pastel using 1kg of meat, then realising too late that I only had 2 cups of rice left in the pantry, and wasn’t due for a Coles-run for another week 😦 I decided to make use of recently purchased ramekin sets by turning the pastel into pot pies, which proved to be a big success with my boyfriend (or so I surmised, after returning to a mountain of empty ramekins). The pastel is adapted from my mother’s recipe, using chicken thighs, which she claims is tastier (and she’s right, of course), but be warned that this recipe makes several servings of pastel, simply because there are a lot of components, but feel free to play around with the ratios.
So apparently, after doing a bit of research, Filipinos adapted this dish from the Spanish Pastel de Pollo – essentially the same thing – which is actually eaten with a pastry crust. Not rice. So… this recipe isn’t so much fusion food as accidentally recreating the recipe in its original state… But… anyway.
For the marinated chicken
- 500g chicken thigh fillets, cubed
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp flour
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
For the pastry
- 2 & 1/2 cups plain flour
- 2/3 cup ice water
- 250g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1 cm cubes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white sugar
For the chicken pastel filling
- Prepared marinated chicken
- 1 can (420g) cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can (230g) vienna sausage*, cut into 1/2cm pieces, reserve the liquid
- 1/2 cup grated tasty cheese
- 6 large cup mushrooms, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and cubed
- 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 large red Spanish onion, diced
- 1 medium-sized capsicum, diced
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
*Alternatively you can use cocktail sausages or pre-cooked chorizo sausages
- Marinate the chicken: Toss the chicken thigh fillet with lemon juice and soy sauce, and marinate in a large covered bowl for at least an hour (or refrigerate overnight for juicer chicken).
- Once you are ready to prepare the chicken pastel (after you have made the pastry), add the flour to the chicken marinade, making sure to mix evenly.
- Prepare the pastry dough: Combine the flour, white sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter (or a blunt knife, in my case), cut the butter into the flour until it resembles a coarse, pebbly mixture. Be careful not to overwork the mixture as this will cause the butter to melt before baking and reduce the pastry’s flakiness!
- Slowly add the iced water, one tablespoon at a time, gently stirring it into the flour until the mixture just holds when pinched (it should still look crumbly, but not doughy).
- Carefully shape mixture into two round disks (if the dough does not hold, add another tablespoon of iced water), then cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least one hour. While the pastry is chilling, prepare the filling.
Chicken Pastel Filling
- Heat a large frying pan over medium-high. When the oil is hot, add the garlic stirring until fragrant and golden brown, followed by the onions. While onion is cooking, add the chicken bouillon cube.
- Once the onions are soft and translucent, add the chicken together with the marinade liquids. Stir continuously until the marinade thickens slightly and the chicken is almost cooked through.
- Add the carrots and potato, cooking them until softened for about 3-5 minutes. Then add in the capsicum and mushroom, cooking them further for another 3-5 minutes.
- Once all vegetables are cooked through, add cream of mushroom soup, plus half the can of water or milk if you prefer, stirring well (if you are using cocktail sausages or chorizo, use one full can of water/milk). Reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer on the stove for about 15 minutes.
- Add the vienna sausage pieces and the reserved liquid to the chicken mixture, and stir, allowing to simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the sauce is thickened.
- Remove from stove, and allow the chicken pastel to cool down a bit while preparing the pastry.
Prepare the pastry for the pies
- Preheat oven to 200C. Spray 12 ceramic ramekins with cooking oil (or grease with butter).
- Sprinkle some flour onto a clean tabletop or surface. Remove one disk of pastry dough from fridge (leave the other in the fridge while you work, to make sure the butter in the mixture remains chilled), and gently work into a ball. Cut into 6 equal portions.
- Working with one portion at a time, divide into two pieces – one piece should be approximately 1/3 of the portion (this will be the top) and the remaining 2/3 of the portion will be used to line the inside of the ramekin.
- Roll out the larger portion into a circle large enough to fit inside the ramekin. Gently drape the pastry into the ramekin, pressing it onto the bottom and sides. Smooth out the folds of pastry so that the entire interior of the ramekin is covered, with a slight border of pastry going over the lip of the ramekin.
- Spoon enough chicken pastel filling into the pastry-lined ramekin, ensuring that it does not spill over the edge.
- Roll out the remaining 1/3 portion of pastry into a circle, and gently place on top of the filled ramekin. Join edges to pastry lining the lip of the ramekin, pinching the pastry securely.
- Using a small paring knife, cut slits into the top (this will allow the heat to escape, so the pie tops do not explode in your oven).
- Repeat with remaining 5 portions (to make process quicker, first divide all the portions into 1/3 and 2/3 pieces, and then roll them out and line the six ramekins. Fill the ramekins, then pinch the tops into place and cut slits).
- Arrange the ramekins on a baking tray, lined with baking paper (this will catch any drips from the filling). Bake in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes (may or may not take longer depending on your oven), or until tops are golden and pastry is flaky.
- Once the first batch of pot pies are in the oven, repeat steps 13-19 with the remaining pastry dough from the fridge.
- Once cool, the pies should come out of the ramekins quite easily, with gentle help from a breakfast knife.
- Serve hot and enjoy with a side of a green leafy salad of your choice.
Baked pies can be refrigerated for up to one week, or frozen for up to 3 months. Place frozen pies in refrigerator overnight to thaw. To heat refrigerated pies, place in an oven preheated to 200 C for 15-20 minutes.
Unfortunately, the recipe for the chicken pastel filling and pastry don’t quite match up in terms of quantity, so there WILL be leftover chicken pastel. But never fear! It is quite delicious eaten with a bowl of steaming white rice, in true Filipino fashion #pastelfordays
Recipe Copyright © 2015 | jialingmew
ENJOY YOUR MEAL!