Chicken pastel is a holiday favorite in most Filipino homes. When I was growing up, I remember this was only served during parties. Today, with the easy availability of ingredients, it has become regular dinner fare. I made this during a weekend dinner for the family and some guests. It was a reminder of special family gatherings back home. Here’s our Philippine version of the chicken pot pie and as a special touch to the crust, I used puff pastry sheets which made an old favorite seem like a brand new dish. My family loved it!
PASTEL DE POLLO (Chicken Pastel)
1 and 1/2 pound chicken, cut up
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups chicken broth
2 pieces Spanish chorizos (available in the specialty deli aisle, most supermarkets)
2 potatoes, peeled & quartered
2 carrots, peeled & sliced
1 can button mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup green olives
1 red bell pepper, sliced in strips
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed at room temperature
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black ground pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
extra virgin olive oil for cooking
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced for garnishing
1 Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheet
- Marinate chicken pieces with lemon juice and soy sauce. Set aside.
- Heat oil in large skillet pan and saute garlic & onions till soft. Add chicken pieces and brown them for a few minutes.
- Pour chicken broth in pan. Add the chorizos , olives and red pepper strips. Bring this to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Allow chicken to cook for about 50 minutes till soft.
- In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the green peas,potatoes, carrots, milk and sour cream.
- Season with the salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders. Blend and cook till chicken is tender.
- In a separate baking sheet that’s been greased, put the puff pastry sheet and brush with an egg that’s been mixed in a little water. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes till brown.
- Meanwhile, transfer the cooked chicken and other ingredients into a casserole dish. Garnish with hard boiled egg slices.
- When puff pastry sheet is done baking, put it right on top of the chicken casserole. Serve immediately while hot, before pastry gets soggy.
SERVING SUGGESTION: Good for 8-10 people. Serve with hot, steamed rice and a nice, green vegetable salad.
COOK’S COMMENTS: When cooking meats for a prolonged period, milk ingredients should be added towards the end, so that the dairy does not separate. For a faster cooking time, substitute chicken pieces with chicken breast that’s de-boned. Cut the chicken breast cubes, and follow cooking instructions and ingredients above. This would make a lean, but delish “pastel”.