Jamaican Chicken & Sweet Potato Pasties

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Long time no blog! We treated ourselves to a holiday last week, Sardinia if anyone gives a hoot. Bloody lovely it was too.

Anyway, since being back we’ve cooked a fair amount, we’re just a little slow on the writing-up at the moment. The following recipe, adapted from an original recipe from the Pieminister “A Pie For All Seasons” cookbook, is how I would do this recipe in future, not quite how I actually cooked it…! I would recommend splitting it over two days; pastry on one and filling on the other. You’re supposed to marinade the chicken overnight too, but I didn’t and it was still bloody tasty!

Serves 6-8

Rough Puff Pastry

Ingredients

400g plain flour
400g butter (straight from fridge)
100ml cold water
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt

Optional:

1 tsp ginger
1 tsp paprika
few grinds of black pepper

Method

In a large mixing bowl add the flour, salt (and optional ingredients if included) and butter in small cubes. DON’T RUB IT IN (like I did…*ahem*). Add the lemon juice to the water and pour in ¾ of the water and stir together with a spoon. Apparently they key is to get to a slightly sticky mixture with clumps of butter. If necessary stir in the rest of the water, a spoonful at a time.

Flour a work-surface and turn the dough out, flouring the top of the dough too so the rolling pin doesn’t stick. Roll out into a rectangle approx. 8mm thick (ish). Fold over the top third into the middle and the bottom third on top of that, give it a quarter turn and roll out again. Make sure to keep flouring the surface or the dough will stick. Fold up once more, stick on a sheet of clingfilm and whack in the fridge for 20 minutes. Take out and repeat a couple more times. Stick back on the clingfilm and leave in the fridge till needed.

Filling

Ingredients

250g chicken meat, diced
400g tin of kidney beans
300ml coconut milk
1 mug of peas
1 medium – large sweet potato, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 egg, beaten

Marinade

3 cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, chopped
1 chilli, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
2tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey/golden syrup
juice and zest of 1 lime
juice and zest of 1 lemon
juice and zest of 1 orange
bunch of fresh thyme, roughly torn
bunch of fresh coriander, roughly torn

Method

Chuck all the marinade ingredients together, add the chicken and give a good old mix. If you can wait, leave it overnight.

Steam/broil the carrots & sweet potato until they start to go soft. Add some oil to a frying pan and bring to “smoking point” (i.e. when you can see wisps of smoke rising from the pan). Remove the chicken from the marinade and fry until it starts to go golden. Add the marinade and the coconut milk and reduce for 10 minutes. Throw in the kidney beans, peas, sweet potato and carrot, give a good stir and leave to reduce until a thick, sticky sauce.

Turn the oven to 180oC/350oF/gas mark 4. Fetch your pastry and divide into 6 large/8 medium/10 small/12 mini portions. Flour your work surface and roll each portion into a rough circle, approx. 3mm thick. Spoon out some of the filling into each round, leaving a border. Paint each border with the beaten egg then fold up each side so they meet in the middle and squash together with your fingers. Stick on a baking sheet on a baking tray and brush each pasty with the rest of the egg. Stick in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Share among friends or save spares for tasty lunchbox treats.

J

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