Smoky chicken and bean pot pies with a cornmeal crust
- March 2011
- Serves 4
- Takes 1 hour to make, plus chilling
These smoky chicken pot pies with chorizo and kidney beans can be made ahead, frozen, then cooked when ready.
- 28.5g (12.8g saturated)
- 55.3g (8.7g sugars)
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 8 free-range chicken thighs, skinless and boneless, cut into 2cm cubes
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 150g cooking chorizo, roughly chopped
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 420g tin kidney beans in chilli sauce
For the pastry
- 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 50g coarse grain polenta
- 100g butter, cubed
- 1 free-range egg, beaten, to glaze
- Heat the sunflower oil in a large saucepan. Cook the chicken in one layer over a medium heat until browned all over (you may need to work in batches). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Lower the heat, add the onion to the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in the garlic, cumin, smoked paprika and chorizo. Cook for a few minutes, then add the chopped green chilli and red pepper. Stir in the tomatoes and kidney beans in chilli sauce, then return the chicken to the pan. Season well. Spoon into 4 x 500ml (or 6 x 350ml) individual pie pots or dishes and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the pastry. Put the flour, polenta and a good pinch of salt in a large bowl and add the butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Slowly add ice-cold water, 1 tbsp at a time, stirring it in with a round-bladed knife. When the dough just sticks together, tip the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and bring together to form a smooth ball, kneading gently. Wrap in cling film, then chill for at least 15 minutes.
- Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface, divide into 4 (or 6) equal pieces, then roll out again until slightly larger than the tops of the pie dishes. Wet the edges of the dishes with water, then cover with the pastry, pressing at the edges to seal, then crimping with a fork. Make two slits in the top of each to let the steam escape. Wrap well, first in cling film, then foil. Freeze.
- The day before you want to eat the pies, remove them from the freezer and defrost completely overnight in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Brush the tops with beaten egg and bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
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