Saturday 13 September 2014

Hot Water Crust Chicken Pie

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Have you guys ever tried making a hot water crust pie?

 It's a lot easier that you think. Baked in a cake tin and filled with a spicy chicken filling, it makes the perfect weekend project. 
A spiced chicken filling encased in a buttery hot water crust pastry!

Pies, previously: Creamy Winter PieAsparagus and Chicken Summer PieProper Shepherds PieOrange Meringue Pie

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Coriander Seeds
2. Dried Red Chillies
3. Vegetable Oil
4. Dried Fenugreek
5. Onion
6. Garlic
7. Ginger
8. Red Chilli Powder
9. Ground Coriander
10. Chicken Breast
11. Plum Tomatoes Tin
12. Garam Masala
13. Salt
14. Mango Powder
15. Plain Flour
16. Strong White Bread Flour
17. Unsalted Butter
18. An Egg

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, make the spicy chicken filling. In a small frying pan over a medium heat, place 1 tablespoon of Coriander Seeds and 3 Dried Red Chillies.
Toast the spices for a minute or two or until you begin to smell them. 

Put the toasted coriander seeds into a pestle and mortar.

Crush them until ...

... they begin to split and form a coarse powder. Set aside.

In a pan or wok, heat up 2 tablespoons of Vegetable Oil.

Once the oil is hot, add in the dried red chillies from earlier along with 1/2 teaspoon of Dried Fenugreek. Stir fry for 1 minute.

Then, add 1 Onion which has been peeled and sliced.

Leave the onions on a medium to low heat, stirring occasionally .....

.... until they turn a lovely golden brown colour.

Add in 3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely chopped.

Along with 1/2 inch Ginger, peeled and grated.

1/2 teaspoon of Ground Coriander - from the seeds that you ground up earlier.

1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder - or to taste!

Stir fry for another minute on a medium heat.

Then, add in 1 Chicken Breast, sliced into small chunks

Turn the heat to high and fry the chicken pieces until they are white and sealed.

Pour in 1/2 tin (200g) of Plum Tomatoes.

Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of Salt (or to taste) ...

... 1/4 teaspoon of Mango Powder and 1/2 teaspoon of Garam Masala.

Stir fry together and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer on the lowest heat for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Once cooked, dry the sauce out a little and then leave to cool completely. Remove the dried red chillies.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C or Gas Mark 6.
Grease an 8 inch springform cake tin.

To make the pastry, place 1 pound (450 grams) of Plain Flour into a large bowl.

Then, add in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of Strong White Bread Flour. Mix together.

The butter is added in two parts. First it is cubed in. Add 2.75 ounces (75 grams) of Cold Unsalted Butter, cubed.

Rub the butter in with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Pretty much like when you bake a crumble.

Next, into a pan, place 200ml Water, 1/2 teaspoon of Salt and 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of Unsalted Butter.

Heat the mixture together until just boiling.

Pour this into the flour bowl.

Mix with a wooden spoon until it comes together - it doesn't have to be perfect.

Tip the dough out onto a floured surface, and bring together.

Knead until smooth.

Take two thirds of the dough.

Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. It should be big enough to fit the bottom and sides of the cake tin.

An easy way to get the dough into the tin is to loosely fold it up.

Put it in the tin.

Open it out and gently press in to fit the tin.

Next, grab your cold chicken filling.

Fill your pie with it, pressing it down so it's tightly packed.

Trim the edges with a sharp knife.

Because my tin was a too tall for the filling, I folded the extra pastry down.

Roll out the other 1/3 of pastry for the lid.

Cut it to fit the tin.

And, cover the pie with it.

Any extra pastry can be rolled to decorate the pie with.

Brush well with a beaten egg.

And, it's ready for the oven!

Bake for 1 hour or until the pie is golden brown all over. If you feel it's still not cooked, you can remove it from the tin and bake a little more.

Remove carefully from the tin, and let it cool for 15 minutes.

Slice up and serve!

Serve with a simple salad and homemade dressing!

Full Written Recipe:

Hot Water Crust Chicken Pie

Adapted from BBC Food

Ingredients – serves approx 6 people

For the Spicy Chicken Filling
1 tablespoon Coriander Seeds
3 Dried Red Chillies
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
½ teaspoon Dried Fenugreek
1 Onion, peeled and sliced
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely chopped
½ inch Ginger, peeled and grated
½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder (or to taste)
1 Large Chicken Breast, sliced into small chunks
½ tin (200 grams) Plum Tomatoes
1 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
½ teaspoon Garam Masala
¼ teaspoon Mango Powder (Amchoor)

For the Hot Water Crust Pastry
1 pound (450 grams) Plain Flour
3.5 ounces (100 grams) Strong White Bread Flour
2.75 ounces (75 grams) Unsalted Butter, cold and cubed
½ teaspoon Salt
3.5 ounces (100 grams) Unsalted Butter
1 Egg, beaten


First, make the filling. It needs to completely cold before using in the pie so it’s best to make it a day ahead.

In a small frying pan, on a low heat, place the coriander seeds and dried red chillies. Toast for a few minutes until you can begin to smell them. Remove from the pan.

Put the toasted coriander seeds into a pestle and mortar, and crush.

In a large pan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the toasted red chillies and dried fenugreek. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add in the chopped onion, and fry until golden brown.

Add in chopped garlic, grated ginger, crushed coriander seeds, and red chilli powder. Fry for another minute.

Put in the chicken pieces, and fry until sealed on a high heat. Then, add in the plum tomatoes, salt, mango powder and garam masala. Stir fry and bring to the boil.

Cover and leave on the lowest heat to simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through.

Once cooked, remove the whole chillies. Let the mixture to room temperature and then cool completely in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C or Gas Mark 6.
Grease an 8 inch spring-form cake tin.

To make the hot water crust, mix together the plain flour and strong white bread flour in a large bowl. Add the 75 grams of cold, cubed butter and rub in with your fingertips until everything looks like breadcrumbs.

In a pan, put the 100 grams of butter along with the salt and 200ml water. Heat until just boiling. Pour this into the bowl with the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until combined.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until a smooth – only a few minutes. Take two thirds of the dough, and roll out to fit the prepared cake tin. Fit the dough into the tin.

Spoon in the cold chicken mixture and press in.
Roll out the remaining dough and measure to make a lid. Cover the pie with this dough. Use any leftover scraps to decorate the pie. Brush with the beaten egg.

Bake for 1 hour or until the pie is golden brown. Let it cool for about 15 minutes before removing from the tin, slicing and serving!

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