Some of my earliest childhood memories are of huge pots simmering with whole chickens, vegetables, herbs and spices in preparation for a marathon chicken pie making session during Ramadhan. My mother, may ALLAH have mercy on her soul and grant her the highest paradise, was a consummate pie maker.
She loved having the large pies on Eid day buffet, when we normally hosted a lunch or dinner for all the relatives.
Alas, that is another thing I didn’t take note of very closely and have no idea exactly what else she added to her chicken pie except chicken, onion sago and seasoning.
One day my mother threw us all for a loop and offered up something completely different; chicken and mushroom in a cream sauce. I loved that and have tried to replicate it as closely as I can remember.
If you are curious about Cape Malay cuisine please check out my recipes for Cape Malay Pickled Fish, Cape Malay Pancakes with coconut or berries, Daltjies spinach and corn fritters, Boeber, Cape Malay Potato pudding, or Falooda milkshake.
My chicken and mushroom pie has a pastry base as well as lid and is usually served with spiced sweet yellow rice and salad or roasted vegetables for lunch or dinner. For extra nutritional value, especially during Ramadhan, I added sweet corn and peas and carrots too. I prefer the tang of creme fraiche and used this instead of double or fresh cream.
Chicken and mushroom pie
- 415 grams roasted chicken meat approximately 1 rotiserrie chicken
- 50 grams butter divided
- 2 onions grated or finely chopped (approximately 190 grams)
- 30 grams finely chopped celery approximately 1 large stalk
- 2 cloves garlic
- 50 grams plain flour
- 250 grams baby button mushrooms
- 500 ml chicken stock
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
- 250 ml creme fraiche or fresh cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 sheets ready rolled butter puff pastry approximately 225 grams each
- 1 egg
Debone the chicken, removing the skin and bones and shred chicken or cut into cubes.
In a high sided sauté pan or pot, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onions and celery until soft (this should take 15 minutes).
Add the garlic and sauté another minute to remove the raw taste.
Add the flour and cook out for at least 5 minutes on a medium heat.
Add the mushrooms and fry for another 3 minutes.
Slowly add the stock and stir continually to ensure there are no lumps and the mixture starts to bubble and thicken.
Let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.
Add the frozen corn, carrots and peas and allow to come to a boil while stirring all the time.
Add the creme fraiche, string continually and bring to the boil before adding the chicken.
Reduce the heat to low and stir continually while it simmers and thickens, about 10 minutes.
Adjust the seasoning and remove from the stove to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius/ 180 celcius with fan / 400 F / Gas mark 6.
Roll out the pastry and line two 20 cm pie dishes ensuring that the pastry overlaps the sides a bit as it may shrink during baking if not rested enough. I chilled it again for another 10 minutes before baking.
Line the base with parchment paper and baking beans or beans, and bake blind for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the parchment paper and beans and bake for another 5 minutes, then leave to cool.
Fill the cooled pastry case with the chicken filling and cover with the second sheet of puff pastry.
Trim the edges and make two slits at the top to allow steam to escape.
Brush with beaten egg then bake for 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and cooked through.
If you find the pastry browning too much but it is still not completely cooked then cover the brown edges with foil for the remainder of the cooking time.
The pie filling may be made a day before and kept refrigerated until required. The filling may also be frozen for up to three months before use.
You may use homemade stock, cubes or concentrate, whichever is more convenient to make up the 500 ml required.
The recipe will be enough for two round 20 cm pies, although I made one deep 20 cm pie and two smaller rectangular pies, one of 12 cm and one of 16 cm in length.
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This recipe was originally refined and published for my guest post on the Kitchen Flavours website, for their eighth annual global Ramadhan round-up in 2015 called Joy from Fasting to Feasting.