Ta da….drumroll…let me present these little beauties. My latest kitchen addiction.
Chicken & chorizo pies.
Call me crazy.
Or call me stupid.
But let’s face it, all this talk of H7N9 pales into insignificance when I think of what I could be eating.
We are still standing and in spite of all the warnings we continue to eat street food. It’s delicious and everywhere and provides us with best hangover food ever. I shop at the local wet market. And what the hell – we haven’t had a day sick so far she says crossing fingers & toes and reaching for the wooden table.
So chicken? Ha. Bring it on.
Truth be told, I think about this couple who I haven’t seen for about a month now and I wonder how they are surviving. We would see them close to the river on our Saturday runs parked just down from a wet market. Baskets loaded with pigeons, ducks and chickens locals would reach in, pick up the birds for inspection before finally making a decision and the birds would be quickly dispatched. It’s a confronting sight.
To be honest, it’s not for the faint hearted and I’m pretty sure it’s not for me but it’s local life. And whatever my reservations I hope I see them back soon. And that in the interim they have found an alternative source of income.
So. Back to the pies.
They are a dinky cupcake size. Small enough to fit into the palm of your hand. Small enough not to count.
Did I mention the buttery crispy pastry? Takes 5 minutes to makes.
I adapted this recipe from Felicity Cloake who writes the weekly “How to cook the perfect…” for The Guardian. I’m a big fan and I always enjoy reading about her research – only because I really couldn’t be bothered to go into the detail she does.
Talking of bothered. I couldn’t be bothered to make the pastry by hand. And I couldn’t be bothered to simmer the chicken and make my own stock. I used chicken breast and half an OXO vegetable stock cube. Next time I can’t be bothered I’m going to use up any roast dinner leftovers – meat, veg and gravy.
What I do recommend you bother with though is snipping a hole in the pastry after you’ve egg washed. You’ll work out why if you do it once.
The pastry is idiot proof. Well it worked for me.
I used a large and small ramekin as an outline for the base and tops. Worked a treat. Don’t worry about a perfect fit – use the back of a fork to push together. Egg wash and sesame seeds will hide a multitude of sins trust me.
I managed to squeeze nine pies in total out of the pastry because I used a twelve-hole muffin tray. By some miracle three found their way into the freezer. Which came in handy last week when we had a morning after the night situation.
That seems to happen a lot.
Go on. Who doesn’t like a meat pie? Even if it’s a dinky one.
Chicken and chorizo pies
- 225 g plain flour plus extra to dust
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 175 g cold butter cut into small cubes
- 50 ml iced water
- Vegetable oil to grease
- 1 beaten egg with a little water
- sesame seeds to sprinkle on pies
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts approx 250g in total, finely chopped
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 1 red pepper finely chopped
- 75 g chorizo diced
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup vegetable stock
- 75 g creme fraiche
Whizz the flour, salt and paprika in a processor.
Add the cubed butter and pulse until mixture resembles large breadcrumbs.
With the motor running, pour in enough water until the mixture just comes together.
Take out and knead for a few seconds only - don't overwork the dough.
Cover in glad wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat, add chicken and cook until opaque. Transfer to a bowl.
Soften onion in the remaining oil for 5 minutes, add chorizo and red pepper and fry until chorizo is fragrant.
Stir in the flour and then add the stock stirring all the time to avoid lumps. The stock will virtually disappear but don't worry.
Take off the heat, add chicken and creme fraiche and stir to combine.
Lightly oil a nine hole muffin tray.
Roll out pastry on a floured surface to about 5mm. Using a 10cm cutter, cut 9 pastry circles to fill the holes and 9 smaller lids.
Divide filling between the pies and brush rims with egg wash. Put lids on and press down with the back of a fork to seal well.
Brush the tops with egg wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds and snip a small hole in each lid to let out steam.
Bake for 25 minutes until golden.