Chicken pie (pastel de pollo)
A little cream was my chosen binder for meat pie filling. Not anymore. I wondered what would happen if I made a basic chicken and potato salad — with mayo — and used it for a chicken pie filling. The result was surprisingly good. Moist but not wet enough to make the bottom crust soggy. In fact, the bottom crust was just as crisp and flaky as the top crust.
Bottom crust and top crust? This isn’t an empanada-sized chicken pie. This is 10-inch pie with chicken and vegetable filling. Yes, the kind you serve sliced rather than by piece. English style. The kind they serve at Bag of Beans in Tagaytay City. And that’s a slice you see in the photo above. My chicken pie filling included potatoes, asparagus and mushrooms. You can use other vegetables like sweet peas, carrots and broccoli — whatever you want really expect that you want to choose vegetables that retain their shape and texture after baking.
- For the crust, see the basic pie crust recipe. You will need enough to make a double-crust pie.
- For the filling:
- 1-1/2 k. of chicken (I used drumsticks but thighs will be just as great), boiled
- 700 g. of potatoes, boiled
- 200 to 300 g. of mushrooms (I used straw mushrooms but white or brown button mushrooms will be just as good)
- 300 g. of baby asparagus
- 1/2 c. of mayonnaise
- Preheat the oven to 400oF.
- Debone the chicken and cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Please do not shred the chicken meat. It is nicer to still be able to discern the ingredients and their textures even after the pie has been baked.
- Dice the potatoes. No need to peel them.
- Slice the mushrooms.
- Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 30 seconds then drain and plunge into iced water to refresh. Cut into 2-inch lengths.
- Place the chicken, potatoes, asparagus and mushrooms in a large bowl. Add the mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to blend.
- Transfer the filling onto the crust lined baking pan.
- Cover with the other pie crust dough. Trim, crimp and flute the edges. (see the detailed instructions).
- Brush the top, including the edges, with egg wash. Use a fork or a thin knife to pierce the top crust in several places to create vents for the steam that builds inside the pie during baking. If you skip this part, there will be an air pocket between the filling and the top crust of your pie.
- Bake the chicken pie in a preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top and edges are lightly browned in spots.
- Now here’s the hardest part of all. Let the pie rest for about 15 minutes before cutting. If you cut it immediately, the crust will be too crumbly, the filling will be loose and the sliced portions will look terrible. Don’t believe me?
- We had this chicken pie for dinner the other night and no one could wait beyond ten minutes after the pie was removed from the oven. The cut sides of the crust looked serrated instead of having clean edges.
- And instead of a compact filling, the chicken and potatoes separated from one another. But it was delicious. Too much torture to wait longer.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6