Monday 15 February 2016

Chicken pot pie 杯式鸡肉派

Chicken pot pie has become my favourite ever since I had that fateful first bite some 20 odd years ago. At that time, I couldn't comprehend why was it called a pie when it was just a bowl of thicken chicken soup with a puff-up crust on top. I still couldn't.

In my quest to making my own chicken pot pie, I came across recipes that mostly uses chicken broth and cooked chicken. My initial reaction was, why? You are buying cooked chicken that is drained of its flavourful juice during the cooking process and then using chicken broth to add flavour. Definitely doesn't make sense to me. I do not know how much it costs in other countries but boxed chicken broth is definitely not cheap here. Together with the cooked chicken, the chicken pot pie easily costs 3 times more!

Another issue I have is the cooked chicken. If you are using cooked chicken, and you are cooking it again when making the filling, and then baking it again in the oven, what would become of your chicken? Dry and tough! No doubt it is a convenient way to finish off leftover poultry, but I strongly discourage buying rotisserie for the purpose of making a chicken pot pie. I suggest raw chicken. This is how I like my chicken pot pie.

This recipe would involve simmering a chicken carcass together with some essentials to get that flavoured chicken broth. It would set you back 20 minutes or so but I assure you it is time well spent. The recipe would yield some tender juicy chicken, flavoured with its originial preservative-free broth. I used a pie pastry for the crust instead of the more buttery puff pastry. If you are not opposed to a tad more butter, I suggest puff pastry which is more puffy and easily available off the counter. All-in-all, chicken pot pie is a not a difficult recipe, even when you have to make your own broth. The best thing is you could pre-make this in bulk and keep it frozen until needed.

Chicken pot pie 杯式鸡肉派

Makes 4 Individual Pies

Chicken Broth

This is just a simple chicken broth recipe for this pie. It is not the official method of making chicken broth.

1/2 chicken carcass
1 small onion
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 carrot, cut into chunks

Put everything into a pot and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Strain the broth and set aside until needed.

The Pie

300 g chicken flesh, diced into 1 cm cube
1 3/4 cup chicken stock (or more) (see above for making your own)
100 g green peas
100 g carrot, diced
1 small onion, chopped
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cooking cream
1 tbsp parsley flakes (or 1 sprig fresh parsley, chopped)
pie pastry/puff pastry


1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp sugar

Cooking Instruction

1. Add in butter and onion in a skillet and cook until fragrant and caramelised.

2. Add in chicken and saute for a while. Then add in green peas and continue to cook.

3. Then make a roux. Add flour unto the skillet. Whisk flour until it is cooked and a thick paste forms. Gradually whisk in your cream making sure there are no lumps.

4. Lastly add in chicken broth and your seasoning and mix until well combined . If you like your filling more soupy, add more water. Remove from fire and set aside to cool.

5. Preheat oven to 180C (or according to instruction given on your pastry). Cut out 4 pieces of pastry that are about 1/2 inch bigger than the mouth of the ramekins.

6. Spoon fillings into individual ramekins. Brush the mouth of the ramekins with a little eggwash and cover with pastry. Make incisions on the pastry for steam to come out later. Brush a layer of eggwash on top of pastry. Optional: sprinkle some parley flakes onto pastry. Bake for 15-20 mins or until the pastry is cooked. Remove and serve immediately.

Want a side to go with your pot pie?

Healthy Pasta Salad

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