Chicken Pastel-A A +A
Pots and Pans
Thursday, June 7, 2012
WE HAVE so much influences in our cuisine from all over the world, be it Asian, European, American or from other continents.
But we managed to come up with our own using our own produce, available materials and ingredients and come up with something unique in so many ways. And delicious, too!
With the abundance of chicken in our backyard, I wouldn't be surprised if meals consist of chicken is always present, during ordinary times or special occasions.
Chicken Pastel is of course, a Spanish-influence dish we all love. I remember the time when this was prepared in small rounded deep dish, then evolutionized to a rectangular "pyrex" dish for a bigger crowd. Nowadays, it is so common to see this dish prepared in a chafing dish or food warmer.
Again, just like any other dishes, this has transformed into something that would fit our palate. From basic soy sauce ingredients, this has changed to tomato sauce which I definitely liked better. And with the added milk and cream, it became more of a high-end dish to many.
This is one I always see presented on the dining table during fiestas, special celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and New Year get-together. But I have noticed that many restaurants and food establishments have added this to their long line of menu lately. Which is really something I always been looking forward to for a long time!
Basically, two processes are involved in the preparation. The filling itself is cooked before it is then placed in the oven. The second is just technically to cook the pastry covering the dish.
My version for this dish would depend on the occasion and guests who are partaking. Why? Because I "personalize" this to what they like. Chicken being the main ingredient, I like using a whole chicken then cut them into smaller pieces. But if I am short of time, I would use chicken breasts and slice them up instead.
Some guests like more sausages while some like more onions, peas, carrots and potatoes. I definitely like to put Chorizo to the mixture for a better taste and flavor. A little raisin will sweeten up the dish, too.
Aside from tomato sauce, I also tend to put a little tomato paste. This is one version I like, but there is another simpler version I love using cream of mushroom soup as base.
All one has to do is to sauté the "veggies," add the rest of the ingredients (vegetables, chicken, etc.), add the cream soup and simmer till everything is cooked. An equal amount of water or more should also be added into the mixture.
Transfer to a deep dish and cover with a pastry dough, which is readily available in the frozen section of the supermarket. Make sure that little holes are made on the pastry dough for the steam to escape during baking.
Brush top with an eggwash (eggyolk with a little water or milk) mixture to give that shine and professional finish. Using the extra dough, one can make cut-outs to decorate the covered dish, too.
1 piece whole chicken, cut up or 3-4 whole chicken breasts, sliced or cubed
5-8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 big onion, sliced or quartered
1 big sweet bell pepper, sliced or cubed
1-2 pieces carrots, sliced or cubed
1-2 pieces potatoes, sliced or cubed
1 cup green peas
1-2 pieces chorizo, sliced
1/3 cup raisins
1 can Vienna sausage, sliced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose cream
Salt and pepper to taste
This is best eaten with steamed rice! One can also prepare this individually using baked-proof cup, which then becomes a single serve dish. One can also use small longganisa instead of chorizo for a more Pinoy flair!
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 07, 2012.