Chicken Thigh Balti Pie
By Sam Wass, Medium Well
Do you like a breast or a thigh? It sounds like a line from a 70s sitcom, but as we're now in British Pie week, (6-12 March) we've been developing some Pie recipes using chicken thigh as a replacement to the more common breast filling. It helps keep costs low and the combination of white and dark meat found in the thigh, gives more flavour when combined with pastry.
Originating at Midlands football grounds in the late-1990s, the balti pie is now synonymous with British Football culture and has become an adopted classic. That said, most people’s experience of a balti pie is generally a shop bought variety, but that needed not be the case, as they’re much easier to make than you’d expect.
If you’ve got your own special recipe for pastry feel free to use that, but we aren’t that clever and tend to use the ready made bought variety, and so do lots of celeb chefs in their cookbooks so we don’t mind that to make things quicker and easier. We've used chicken thighs rather than breast, as we think the mixture of white and dark meat on chicken thigh makes an ideal pie mixture, but if you prefer only breast meat use 500g diced chicken breast or 2 x chicken breast fillets instead
Serves 4 - (Makes 1 Large Pie or 4 individual Pies)
- 4 x Chicken Thighs(roasted in the oven)
- Packed ready made pastry
- 50g butter
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 leek, shredded
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 2 tablespoons medium curry powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 500ml chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 egg, beaten, for pastry wash
- salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven too 180ºC/gas mark 5
Cook the chicken thighs, ideally roasting, until fully cooked for about 20 minutes. When cooked, set aside and allow to cool.
Melt the butter in a pan and fry the shallot, then add the leek and garlic, and fry for about 5 minutes until everything is softened.
Stir in the flour and all the spices and then gradually add the stock, mixing and stirring over a low heat until the flour is cooked out.
Turn the heat off, then strip and dice the chicken meat from the thigh. You don’t want the skin so have that as a cooks bonus treat, and stir in the chicken and coriander to the ballot mix. Put the mixture aside and allow it to cool a little.
Roll or cut the pastry to give a third of the pastry for the pie top and use the larger piece to line a pie dish, and fill with the chicken mixture. Cover with the remaining piece of pastry and then pinch and crimp around the edges to seal it all together.