Servings : Makes about 30 pastries
These flaky delicious little pastries are filled with a flavourful shredded chicken filling. They make for the perfect snack that can be prepared ahead of time and is ideal for tea time, picnics, iftar starter or for your lunch box.
- 500gm boneless thighs, cubed (marinate in 2 tbsp yoghurt, 1/2 tsp each of ginger and garlic pastes, 1 tsp lemon juice, pinch of salt and pinch of paprika powder)
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion, finely sliced
- 1 medium capsicum, finely sliced
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chilli flakes or 1 chopped chilli
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp tandoori powder or paprika powder
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 tbsp tomato sauce/ketchup
- puff pastry or any bread dough that you like
- 1 beaten egg for egg wash
Marinate the chicken in 2 tbsp yoghurt, 1/2 tsp each of ginger and garlic pastes, 1 tsp lemon juice, pinch of salt and pinch of paprika powder for about an hour or up to overnight. Remember to remove the chicken from the fridge half an hour before you begin cooking in order to bring it to room temperature.
When ready to cook, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, add the marinated chicken cubes and fry over high heat for just 2-3 minutes to give the chicken some flavour and colour. You can do this in two batches in order not to crowd the pan. Remove the chicken chunks on to a plate and set aside.
In the same pan, heat another tablespoon of oil and add the onion slices. Sauté for a minute until they soften slightly, then add the sliced capsicum and stir it in for another minute or two. Next add the ginger, garlic, chilli, cumin powder, paprika powder, salt and the half-cooked chicken and its juices. Cook for a few minutes on high heat then reduce the heat. Cover the pan and cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove the lid, increase the heat again and dry off any excess moisture, then add the ketchup and lemon juice. Mix well, taste and adjust if needed then turn off the heat. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then shred the chicken with your fingers and keep it covered. I like to smoke this filling to give it a nice aroma. To do this, light up a small coal and then place it on a piece of foil. Put this right in the centre of the dish containing the shredded chicken. Drop a tiny bit of oil on the lit coal and immediately cover the dish. Let the chicken filling smoke for about a minute, then uncover and discard the coal and piece of foil.
I used ready made puff-pastry to shape these parcels. But you can make them using pizza dough or any other dough from my recipes that has worked well for you.
Roll out your puff pastry and cut out squares. Fill one half of each square with the spicy chicken filling, then fold the other half over and seal the edges with a fork. Make a couple of slashes over the top for steam to escape during baking. Keep going until all are done.
You can freeze the pastries at this point until needed or bake them immediately. Place them on a lightly oiled tray, brush them with beaten egg and bake at 180 C for about 20-25 minutes or until puffed up and golden.
Serve with lemon slices.