Tuesday 26 February 2013

Curried Chicken and Apricot Pie Recipe

The recipe below is one for a classic British curry. This time, it's lightly-curried chicken baked in a pastry crust.

Though the flavours are inspired by India, the dish is, in many ways, traditionally British and hearkens back to the highly-spiced pies baked in 'coffyns' (lard pastry cases) of Medieval days (for more information and recipes, visit the Celtnet Medieval recipes collection page). So, I will claim this as a true British classic.

Curried Chicken and Apricot Pie

Serves: 6

Curried Chicken and Apricot Pie is a modern British recipe for a classic pie of lightly-curried chicken with apricots cooked in a savoury shortcrust pastry shell.


For the Pastry:

350g (12 oz) plain flour
pinch of salt
150g (1/3 lb) butter
50g (2 oz) lard
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
about 5 tbsp cold water, to bind

For the Filling:

2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, chopped
500g (1 lb) chicken, boned and coarsely chopped
1 tbsp curry paste or curry powder
2 tbsp apricot chutney
115g (4 oz) ready to eat dried apricots, halved
1 tsp mixed, dried, herbs
4 tbsp crème fraîche
beaten egg, to glaze
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste


Begin with the pastry: Sift together the flour and salt into a bowl. Dice the butter and lard, add to the flour and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Season to taste with salt and freshly-ground black pepper then slowly add the water, initially mixing with a palette knife an then with your hand (adding just enough enough to bring the mixture together) into a solid mass.

The dough should be stiff and dry and it can be wrapped in clingfilm (plastic wrap) and chilled in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before rolling (this will make the dough easier to roll).

For the Filling: Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and chicken meat and fry until just coloured. Stir in the curry paste (or powder) and fry the mixture for 2 minutes more.

Now add the chutney, apricots, carrots, herbs and crème fraîche. Season to taste and stir to combine. Take off the heat then turn the mixture into a deep oven-proof dish (about 1l [4 cups]).

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and roll out on a floured work surface until 3cm (1 in) larger than the top of your pie. Cut strips all the way around the pastry and set these on the rim of your dish. Dampen the edges then place the pastry on top and crimp the edges to seal.

Re-roll any scraps and use to decorate the top of the pie. Cut a steam hole in the centre then brush over the top with the beaten egg to glaze before transferring the pie to an oven pre-heated to 190ºC (375ºF). Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is crisp and golden brown in colour.

Cut the pie into generous wedges and serve accompanied by steamed vegetables.

For many more classic Indian recipes, please visit the Celtnet Indian sub-Continent recipes page.

This is one of the new recipes added to the update to my curry recipes book, detailed below. The book will be available as of the end of next week (7th March 2013).

UPDATE! My Big Book of Curry Recipes for Amazon Kindle is just about to be updated!

This is the largest eBook of curry recipes ever assembled. With over 1000 curry recipes divided into all the classic curries from around the world. You also get recipes for curry accompaniment, beads (like this recipe), desserts, drinks, pickles and much more.

Not only are the classic curries from the Indian sub-continent represented, you also get historic curries, Anglo-Indian curries as well as curries from the remainder of Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.

There is also a complete chapter dedicated to restaurant-style curries and British curries. Learn to make curries at home, just like your local curry restaurant makes them.

The book has now been updated with almost 50 new recipes, covering Cape Malay curries and curried soups.

Every classic and traditional soup type is dealt with in this ebook! Get you copy today and help this blog and the Celtnet Recipes website keep going.

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