To celebrate the arrival of spring, we got a little herb garden for our patio. I have never really plant and grow anything. I am not the gardening type. I don’t love plants and flowers. To me, they are always associated with bugs (which I hate and scare of). The only flower I am cool with is orchids, because they don’t have a smell and don’t attract bugs. So you may ask… Why would I get a herb garden? I use fresh herbs all the time, but sometimes, it is a waste just to use a couple leaves when buying a whole package. That is when I have the idea of growing my own. That way, I can pick them when I need them. Cheap and easy. Let’s hope the herbs will be growing (fingers crossed).
This week, I am inspired by chef Tal Ronnen’s vegan menu that are created for The Wynn Resort Las Vegas restaurants. Vegan menu? I know, right? Chef Ronnen’s Pot Pie sounds really GOOD when I looked at the menu. Gardein chicken, carrots, green beans, potatoes and puff pastry. That makes me hungry! Love the idea of using puff pastry for pot pie. I wish I could go to Vegas and have it right now. But it is not possible! So… Why not try making my own version? Since Bryan and I are the meat eaters, I snuck in some real dark chicken meat. Although my recipe isn’t vegetarian, it can be easily turn into one just by omitting the chicken! I got you covered, my vegetarian friends! 😉
My mushroom and chicken hand pies are no regular pot pies. They are in the shapes of hand pies. They are made with puff pastry, instead of pie crusts. For the filling, there are the basic, like onion, carrots, and peas, but earthy mushrooms are also added. They are savory and rich. To bring these pies to another level, I have a little secret. Brush a little honey water on the puff pastry when almost finished baking. That brings just enough sweetness to balance out the flavors. These pies are to die for and easy to make! They can be appetizer or main course with side salads. Simply AMAZING!!!
Mushroom and Chicken Hand Pies
9 (3½-inch) hand pies
– ½ pound boneless and skinless chicken thighs (cut into ½-inch cubes)
– ¼ cup carrot (cut into ¼-inch dices)
– 4 cremini mushrooms (about 3½ ounces)
– ¼ cup frozen peas
– 1 large garlic clove (minced)
– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
– ½ medium onion (cut into small dices)
– 2 tablespoons flour
– ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
– 3 tablespoons milk
– ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
– olive oil
– ground black pepper
– 1 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry (thawed)
– all-purpose flour
– 1 egg
– ½ tablespoon honey
- For the mushrooms, rub and wipe off any dirt with paper towels. Remove the stems and cut into ½-inch cubes. Set aside.
- In a large pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Add chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink on the outside, stirring occasionally. Add carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and saute for 2 more minutes. Add frozen peas and mix. Finally, toss in the garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Season again. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
- In the same pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until transparent and tender. Add flour and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken broth and milk. Stir and cook for 1 – 2 minute. Add the chicken mixture back to the pan. Add the mustard. Combine everything well. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Arrange racks in lower and upper thirds of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment papers.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg and 1 teaspoon water together. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured working surface, unfold 1 puff pastry and roll into 12×12-inches squares with a rolling-pin. Use a 3½ round cutter to cut out 9 rounds. Remove the scrapes. Repeat with the other pastry, making 18 rounds in total.
- Brush the edges of 9 rounds with egg mixture. Place about 3 tablespoons filling in the center of each of those rounds. Place the remaining rounds over the filling. Press the edges firmly to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork. Transfer the pies to the baking sheets. Brush the pies with the egg mixture. Using a sharp knife to cut small slits in the tops of the pies. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- In another small bowl, whisk ½ tablespoon honey and 1 teaspoon water together.
- Bake the pies in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Brush the pies with honey mixture and continue to bake for 2 more minutes. Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Don’t feel like meat? No problem. Just skip the chicken and use more mushrooms.
- Don’t feel like cutting the puff pastry into rounds? Cut them into 3½-inch squares.
- To thaw puff pastry, leave it at room temperature for about 30 minutes or in the fridge overnight.
- If you are serving these pies as main course, 3-4 pies per adults and 1-2 pies per kids.