Thursday, September 27, 2018

Easy Children-friendly Japanese Curry Chicken Puff Pastry Pies - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

It was another weekend night that my son could smell that I had cooked something fancy for our dinner and he asked...

"Mum, are we having Japanese curry tonight?"

"Yes!" I replied instantly.

Then, the hungry boy was like a shadow behind my back as he kept asking me more questions while I was busy serving food on our dining table.

Boy: Did you cook the Japanese curry from scratch?

Me: Yes! And I have baked it into puff pastry pies.

Boy: Did you baked the curry with top and bottom pastries?"

Me: Yes! And I have added in your favourite potatoes!

Then, someone said "Yum!". And it might be me... LOL!

sweet Japanese curry chicken puff pastry pies
Happy that I have baked these easy delicious...
Children-friendly Japanese Curry Chicken Puff Pastry Pies
Remember that I cooked and baked an easy Japanese Curry Chicken Pot Pie at here?

After enjoying the delicious pot pie, my husband and son wanted me to bake another version of Japanese curry chicken pie that is baked with top-and-bottom pastries.

To do so, this puff pastry pie recipe will be:

1) slightly less fuss free because the curry filling needs to be cooked with a roux so that the curry filling is thick and viscous enough and won't make the pastry soggy.

2) slightly less healthy because the thick curry has be cooked with cooking cream (18% fat) instead of milk (4% fat) and more pastries are required to enclose the filling into the pies properly.

3) less quick to cook because the curry filling needs to be thoroughly chilled before assembling with puff pastries. Due to this reason, I usually cook the filling one day before the assembly and the baking.

4) still EASY! ... because I'm using ready-to-use puff pastries and these pies are very very very easy to assemble. Watch my video and you will see!

By the way, you might want to know that it is better to assemble these pies into flat square shapes instead of baking them in muffin cups because the spreading of the filling into a flatter area helps to prevent the filling from erupting out of the pastries during baking. I know because I have tried baking the muffin cup version and the pies ended up looking look like many mini erupted mount Fuji!!! Fortunately, there is no wastage because these ugly catastrophic-looking pies are still delicious! LOL!!!

sweet Japanese curry chicken puff pastry pies
Phew! No erupting catastrophic-looking pies this time!!!
All look good and taste yummy!!!
Japanese curry chicken puff pastry pies
Nom nom nom... These pies were gone very quickly!

Boy: Wait a minute! Did you bake these pastries from scratch?

Me: No. I used the supermarket puff pastry.

Boy: You know that I prefer your homemade pastry from scratch!

Me: I know but this is suppose to be an EASY recipe! And if you don't like it, you can don't eat it.

Then, it was awkward silence. Cricket cricket...

Eventually, 6 of the pies were gone very quickly. LOL!

As a busy working mum, I always create, cook and bake many easy family-friendly recipes. On the other hand, the culinary-loving me also like to create, cook and bake many challenging gourmet recipes from scratch. Regardlessly, I will share all of my good recipes and many cooking / baking tips at my blog. So if you like my cooking, baking and recipes, you can follow me at either my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids

Here's the recipe.

Makes 8 individual 10 cm square pies

For the curry powder mix:
3 tbsp (30g) plain / all purpose flour
1 tbsp (10g) mild curry powder
1 tbsp (10g) garam masala or less if you prefer a milder curry

Combine plain / all-purpose flour, curry powder and garam masala. Set aside.

For the chicken:
500g chicken thighs, skinless, boneless and cut into 3 cm cubes
1 tbsp (10g) cornflour
freshly ground salt and black pepper to season

Combine chicken, cornflour, salt and pepper. Set aside.

To cook the curry chicken filling:
250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
3 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more if required
30g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter
one medium white potato, peeled and roughly cut into 2 cm cubes
1 medium brown onion, peeled and diced into 1 cm pieces
2 tsp garlic mince
1 cup (250ml) frozen vegetable mix (corn kernels, peas and diced carrots)
120ml (1/2 cup) cooking cream with 18% fat
1 large red apple, peeled or unpeeled and finely grated
2-3 tbsp honey, plus more if desired
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to season
4 sheets ready rolled puff pastry (20 x 20 cm each), thawed for 15 mins - I used the 25% fat reduced ones

For the egg wash:
1 egg, roughly beaten

To decorate:
extra puff pastry cut into decorating shapes

To cook the filling:
Add chicken stock into a saucepan and heat it with medium high heat. Then, reduce heat to simmer.

While heating the chicken stock, start cooking the chicken filling.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan with medium high heat. Cook chicken for about 2-3 mins until golden brown. Transfer onto a plate and set aside. Do not wash frying pan.

Heat 1 tbsp oil and butter in the same frying pan with medium high heat until butter is just melted. Cook potato for about 3 mins or until slightly softened. Next, cook onion for about 2-3 mins or until golden and fragrant. Add garlic and curry powder mix. Stir and cook for about 1-2 min or until fragrant. Add frozen vegetable mix and cook for about 3 mins or until the vegetable mix is thawed and lightly seared.

Gradually stir in hot chicken stock and use a scratch-proof / wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan to de-glaze. Reduce heat to low and stir in the cream, grated apple and seared chicken. Cook for about 2-3 mins - the filling should be very thick and can be lumpy. Remove from heat. Season with honey and salt. Allow filling to cool completely to room temperature. Cover and chill filling in a fridge for at least 30 mins or overnight.

To assemble and bake:
Preheat oven to 220°C / 200°C fan forced / 430°F. Line two large baking tray (size: 25 x 35 cm) with baking papers.

Cut each pastry sheet into 4 squares (10 x 10 cm) - 16 squares in total. Place 4 squares on each prepared tray - 8 squares on two trays. Divide chicken filling into 8 equal portions and place each portion on each square. Brush just inside the edge of each pastry with egg wash. Cover with remaining pastry squares. Using a fork, press edges together to seal.

Make 1-3 small holes on each pastry top. Brush pastry with egg wash and decorate with any extra pastry shapes if desired. Brush decorating pastry shapes with egg wash and bake for 30 mins or until pies are puffy, golden brown and crispy.

Serve and enjoy while the pies are warm and crispy.

Store any uneaten pies in the fridge for up to 2 days or freezer for up to 3 months. To re-heat, bake cold or frozen pies (no thawing required) in pre-heated oven at 200°C / 180°C fan forced / 400°F for 10-15 mins for cold pies or 20-25 mins for frozen pies or until the pastry is crispy again and filling is warm enough to enjoy.

Happy Baking
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