The idea of serving brunch with savory pies and savory muffins on the menu has been playing in my mind for a long time. Can you imagine it? A table laden with meat pies in different shapes and sizes, and muffins specked with bits of meat, cheese and vegetables… And, on the side, a pot of hot coffee… The mental picture makes me hungry. If you are into long and leisurely brunches, you will want to add these muffin-sized chicken mushroom puff pies to your menu. If there’s a vegetarian in the house, I’ll show you how to make meaty and vegetarian versions in one go.
What are in these chicken mushroom puff pies? Chicken and mushrooms, of course, plus pork, potato and cauliflower. And, for the creamy sauce to bind everything together, a combination of plain yogurt and condensed cream of mushroom soup.
Make the filling before doing anything else to give it enough time to cool. It’s a bad idea to put hot filling in the pie crust because the steam will immediately make the crust soggy. No amount of baking will remedy a disaster like that.
Once the filling has cooled, start preheating the oven.
Spray a muffin pan with oil or brush with butter. Although puff pastry contains fat (in the form of butter or vegetable shortening), it doesn’t hurt to make sure that the sides and bottoms of the pies won’t stick to the pan during baking. You want the pies to easily come off the pan when they’re done.
Assemble your chicken mushroom puff pies. Cut the puff pastry into squares and lightly press into the muffin holes. Spoon the filling in then simply fold over the four corners of the puff pastry to cover the filling. The spaces between the folded corners serve as vents to allow steam to escape.
Thirty minutes later, you have your delicious chicken mushroom puff pies. The folded corners of the puff pasty open up just enough to expose the filling. Cool slightly before taking a bite.
Chicken Mushroom Puff Pies
- 1 chicken breast
- pork tenderloin (you need just enough to equal the amount of chicken)
- 1 large potato
- 1 small cauliflower
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
- 1 small can sliced mushrooms drained
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup condensed cream of mushroom soup (I used Campbell's)
- 12 six-inch squares sheets puff pastry
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- Cut the chicken breast into half-inch cubes. Do the same with the pork tenderloin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir. Set aside.
- Cut the potatoes into cubes slightly smaller than the chicken and pork.
- Trim the cauliflower and break into small florets.
- Heat the butter in a frying pan. Cook the potatoes until lightly crisp along the edges. Scoop out and transfer to a bowl.
- Lightly fry the cauliflower for half a minute. Add to the potatoes.
- In the remaining butter, lightly fry the chicken and pork. Scoop out and transfer to a bowl.
- To the potatoes and cauliflower, add the garlic, scallions and drained mushrooms. Stir in the yogurt and condensed cream of mushroom soup. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir.
- Set aside enough of the mixture to make two to three meatless pies.
- Add the pork and chicken to the remaining potato-cauliflower-mushroom mixture.
- Cool the fillings.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Spray a 12-hole muffin pan with oil or brush the holes with melted butter.
- Gently press a six-inch square of puff pastry into each hole.
- Fill each crust-lined hole with about two heaping tablespoons of filling.
- Fold in the four corners of the puff pastry crust to loosely cover the filling.
- Brush the tops of the pies with beaten egg.
- To avoid confusion as to which has meat and which doesn't, dip a toothpick in a little food color and place a dot of color on the crust of the meatless pies.
- Bake the chicken mushroom puff pies at 375F for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and puffed.
- Cool the pies in the pan for a few minutes. Run a thin knife around each pie to loosen. Move the pies to a rack.
- Serve the chicken mushroom puff pies while hot.
These chicken mushroom puff pies can be baked a day or two ahead. Cool to room temperature, transfer to a covered container and keep in the fridge. Reheat in the oven (an oven toaster will do too) at 350F for about five minutes.