This pot pie is based on one served to me at the Amandari resort in Bali and is a lightly spiced chicken stew with a flaky pastry top. ‘Lightly spiced’ can often mean lacking in flavour, but the idea of what is essentially a light southeast Asian chicken curry served in the form of a European pie must have evolved in the colonial kitchens where Asian cooks were catering for Europeans. It is very good.
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh
2 tbsp toasted coriander seeds,
large pinch of chilli flakes
1 cinnamon stick
2 stalks of lemongrass (white
bulb end only), thinly sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
8 SPCA Blue Tick free-range
skinned, boned chicken thighs
(about 600g), each sliced into
4 across the grain of the meat
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 litre chicken stock
3 cups small cauliflower florets,
blanched for 4 minutes in
boiling water and well drained
3 zucchini, thinly sliced
3 tbsp cornflour dissolved in
4 tbsp water
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
salt and freshly ground black
400g flaky puff pastry (made
1 SPCA Blue Tick egg, beaten
Heat the oil over a moderate heat in a deep, wide pan. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, chilli flakes, cinnamon stick, lemongrass and onion. Mix well and fry gently for 10 minutes until the onion is soft.
Add the chicken and turmeric and fry until the chicken is opaque all over. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Add the cauliflower and zucchini, bring back to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes.
Stir in enough of the cornflour mixture to thicken slightly. Add the peas, simmer for 2 minutes, taste and season. Discard the cinnamon stick and leave the chicken mixture to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Divide the chicken mixture evenly among six small ovenproof bowls or ramekins. These can be round or oval in shape.
Roll the pastry out on a clean lightly floured surface and cut rounds or ovals (depending what containers you are using) that are about 3cm bigger than the top of the containers.
Brush the edges of the pastry with egg and place the rounds or ovals over the pies. Crimp the edges together so they cling to the top edge of the containers.
Brush the tops all over with egg and make a couple of 3cm slits in the tops to let the steam out.
Place the containers on a tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry is well cooked and the insides bubbling.
Remove from the oven and serve.
Ray McVinnie has kindly donated this recipe to our SPCA Blue Tick Cookbook 'Made with Love’. All the royalties from this cookbook go to SPCA New Zealand. Buy your copy here.
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