Saw a post on Facebook of a video recipe for puff pastry chicken pie and it reminded me of Hainanese chicken pie, a dish unique to Penang. It’s a dish invented by Hainanese cooks for their British masters in colonial Malaysia.
Most versions are in a brown sauce – a mixture of soya sauce and Worchestershire sauce. Hainanese Delights’ version is in a white (Mornay) sauce. Here I’ve combined the best of worlds to make the best version (also helped by using quality ingredients here in the UK).
*pats self on back* I have managed to make food better than Penang restaurants’ (747 and Hainanese Delights)! A mean feat, I must say.
Gu desserts come in reusable glass ramekins. I brilliantly repurposed them to make Hainanese chicken pie in as I couldn’t find any foil pie tins!
Ingredients (makes 3 mini ramekins):
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced into bite-sized chunks
- 1 carrot, diced
- half onion, diced
- 100 g mushrooms, diced
- 1 stick celery, diced
- splash of soya sauce
- 1 cinnamon stick/powder
- 1 clove star anise
- Worchestershire sauce, to serve
- puff pastry sheet
- 50 ml milk
- 50 g butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 25 g Cheddar cheese, grated
- Pre-heat oven to 215°C or 205°C if using a fan oven.
- Stir-fry the chicken, carrot, onion, mushrooms, celery with soy sauce, a dash of cinnamon, star anise over a medium heat until cooked and the chicken is still tender. Remove the star anise and cinnamon stick, if any.
- Make a Mornay sauce: Melt butter in a sauce pan, sprinkle flour slowly, stirring out clumps (this is a roux). Add milk and continue stirring until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese until it melts and is combined.
- Cut out squares of puff pastry using the ramekins as a guide.
- Assemble the pies! Scoop the filling and Mornay sauce until the ramekin is 3/4 full. Add some water until almost at the rim and stir to combine. This thins the sauce.
- Put on the puff pastry, tucking the edges inside. Crimp the edges using a fork to make indentations. Brush with some milk. This serves the same purpose as an egg wash – to brown the puff pastry.
- Place the ramekins in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Serve with a drizzle of Worchestershire sauce.