I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with making pies. I love the way you can turn the most unsavoury cut of meat into a delicious soft pie filling (FYI I’m anti minced meat in pies) and then the satisfaction of tossing them out of the pie tins; such happy delectable little things they are. However no matter how hard I try, I always get burnt making pies… and its always on the heavy iron pie tins we’ve got at home. Burns aside making pies is got to be the most rewarding pastry to cook, recipes such as Irish Lamb shank pie; Beef rib and mushroom, Moroccan goat, Oxtail and traditional Beef burgundy are all favourites amongst my pie critics (FVG). Recently however at an Indian themed dinner party (more recipes to come) a pie was needed that offered a more authentic flavour.
1kg chicken thigh’s trimmed and chopped into quarters.
2 onions finely sliced
1 cup yellow split lentils
1 litre chicken stock
4-6 sheets of puff pastry (making puff pastry is such a bother!)
• cloves garlic minced
• 2 tbsp ginger minced
• 1 star anise
• 5 curry leaves
• 2 tbsp dry chilli
• 2 tbsp coriander seeds (toasted)
• 2 tbsp mustard (brown) seeds (toasted)
• 1 tbsp tumeric powder
• 6 cardamom pods
• ½ cup garam masala
• 1 tbsp turmeric powder
• ½ cup curry powder
• 1 tbsp salt
1. Dust the chicken in the dry rub and fry in a little vegetable oil until golden brown
2. Remove the chicken from the heat and allow to drain on some paper towel.
3. fry the onions off on a low heat adding the rest of the spice mix gradually as the onions begin to become translucent.
4. Deglaze with a little chicken stock and add the cooked chicken pieces – cook for approx one hour on a low heat until chicken becomes tender
5. Add the lentils and cook for another 30 minutes on a medium heat-the lentils should become soft but still maintain their shape.
6. Its best to leave the pie mix in a non reactive bowl overnight, this will enhance the flavour and allow you to remove and fat that settles on the top.
7. grease the pie tins (or pie maker-thanks ed!) and line with puff pastry. Fill with the chicken mix and cap the pies with more pastry, using an egg wash to seal them.
8. Bake for approx 30 minutes at 180 degrees (use foil on the top of the pies to avoid the tops cooking to fast as ovens tend to use the top/back element to create heat which tends to cook things from above-you don’t want soggy bases)
9. Remove the trays from the over and allow 10 minutes before freeing the pies from the trays. Allow to cool on a wire rack.