Chicken Pie

Flaky pie dough pastry:
250g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
170g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg yolk, chilled
4 tbs plain yogurt chilled
1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash

Chicken Pie Filling:
150g potato, peeled and cubed
50g carrot, peeled and cubed
1 large yellow onion, peeled and cubed
260g chicken breast meat, cubed
110g canned (drain water solution away) or fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
120ml homemade or store-bought chicken stock
1 tbs cornflour mixed with 2 tbs water to form a solution
salt and pepper, to taste

Making chicken pie filling:

Oil a pan with some cooking oil. Place the cubed potato and fry over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add cubed carrots and frying the mixture for another two minutes. Set carrots and potatoes aside.

Next, sauteed the onions until soft and fragrant. Add in chicken breast and mushrooms. Cook the mixture for about 2 minutes.

Lastly, add in the cooked potato and carrot. Pour 120ml of chicken stock and allow the mixture to simmer on low heat for 4 minutes, without covering. Allow the liquid to reduce. When most of the of liquid has reduced, add the corn flour solution to the thicken the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. The chicken pie filling should be a mixture of ingredients coated with a thick sauce.

Making the flaky pie dough pastry:

Mixing dry ingredients – In a mixing bowl, sift in flour. Add in salt. Whisk with a balloon whisk to distribute the ingredients evenly.

Forming the pastry – Cut chilled cubed butter into flour with a pastry blender until there is a mixture of different sized flour-coated butter ‘pebbles’ and fine flour-coated butter ‘crumbs’. Alternatively, rub the cubed butter into the flour with your clean hands. Mix the egg yolk with the yoghurt/ sour cream. Drizzle in the yolk + yogurt/sour cream mixture use a fork to moisten the flour-coated butter ‘crumbs’.

Gently gather the crumbs and knead briefly so that the crumbs come together to form a dough. Wrap dough with clingfilm and chill dough for at least 30 minutes. To save time, freeze dough until it is firm enough to handle.

Making the chicken pies – Divide dough into 9 portions. Pinch about 2/3 of one portion of dough to roughly form a ball using both palms. Place the dough ball on one palm and use the other to flatten it evenly, big enough to fit into a three-inch tart tin. Place the flattened dough over the tart tin and press it in place, ensuring thickness is even throughout.

Spoon and compact cooled chicken pie filling onto pie dough base. With the remaining 1/3 of one portion of dough, roll it into a rough shaped ball and flatten it until it is big enough to cover the fillings. Cover fillings with pie dough and press down to seal the edges. Repeat for the remaining 8 portions of pie dough. Chilled ready-to-bake chicken pies for 20 minutes.

Baking the tart crusts – While chilling ready-to-bake chicken pies, preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Brush egg wash onto the chicken pies. Using a fork, prick over the top of each chicken pie, allowing air to escape and ensure pie dough do not rise much.

Place chicken pies onto a preheated baking tray and bake for about 30-35 minutes in the middle rack or until tart crusts are golden brown. If pie dough do not brown after 20 minutes into baking, transfer to upper rack and bake a further 10-15 minutes to achieve a golden brown appearance. Allow chicken pies to cool slightly in tart tins before removing them from the tart tins to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve chicken pies warm.

Notes:
For better flavour, marinate chicken breast or add some herbs when cooking the filling.
Increase the proportion of chicken breast used if a more meaty filling is desired.

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