Do you know exactly how easy it is to make puff pastry at home? It is, I assure you. I never like making a dough (rotis are an Indian staple and I’d rather buy them than make them from scratch because something always ends up going wrong with the dough. But with my new-found confidence, that’s about to change, I say).
I was craving, and I really mean craving, for meat puffs that you find in little bakeries. Something you come across after a long walk or jog and as you bite into them, everything seems all right with the world. Since it was a sudden craving, and as they go, it’s difficult to find something you crave on such short notice, I asked myself ‘why not make them at home?’
I’m so glad I made them because as the buttery smell engulfed the kitchen and I saw the puffs turning golden brown in the oven, I couldn’t help but feel proud.
Homemade chicken and mushroom puffs
200g boneless chicken (cut into bite sized pieces)
150g button mushrooms (chopped)
1 small onion (sliced finely)
3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs dried oregano
1 tbs dried thyme
Half glass Merlot
salt and pepper to taste
Handful chopped coriander
250g rice flour
75g cold butter (if unsalted, add salt to the dough)
1 egg (beaten)
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees C.
Start by mixing the flour with cold butter with your fingers in a bowl. Once the butter is mixed properly, bring the dough together with the water. Don’t overwork it. Make 4 disks of equal proportions.
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the chopped onion and garlic cloves. When soft, add the chopped chicken, mushrooms, dried herbs, salt and pepper. Add the Merlot after cooking the mixture for 10 minutes. Put on a lid and let it come together. It would take about another 10-15 minutes for the filling to cook well. Add the coriander and mix together at the end.
Roll out each of the disks with an extra dusting of flour to a nice round shape about the size of your palm.
Divide the filling in four parts and place each in the centre of a disk. Brush the sides of the disk with egg and fold them in half like a calzone. Brush the top of the puff with the beaten egg. Do the remaining three puffs like the first and place on a baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes till nice and crisp. Serve with a salad!
PS: The filling tastes just as good with hot rice. Secondly, feel free to experiment with any sort of filling!