This mouth-watering recipe for ‘Empadão de Frango’, or Brazilian chicken pie, provided by Elida Bray, is very popular in São Paulo.
There are two types of this pie – the large one, which is the recipe posted here, and a smaller version called ’empadinha’. Many different fillings can be used, such as prawns, ‘palmito’ (palm hearts), cooked minced beef and vegetables, but the traditional pie is made with shredded chicken.
It would be more authentic to use ‘catupiry’ cheese – a Brazilian type of soft cheese – but it is difficult to get hold of in the UK, so you can use Philadelphia cream cheese or lots of grated cheddar instead! It is also very traditional to add a tin of sweetcorn, drained, to the chicken filling.
- FOR THE PASTRY
- 500g plain flour
- 200g butter (cold)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk
- 6tbsp milk
- FOR THE CHICKEN FILLING
- 1 kilo of cooked and shredded chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 2tbsp red pesto sauce
- 1 handful of parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- FOR THE PASTRY:
- Mix the flour, salt and butter until you have something similar to breadcrumbs, then add the eggs and the milk.
- Begin mixing it with a spoon, then use your hands and keep working the dough until you reach a nice and smooth pastry that doesn't stick to your hands. You might need to use a bit more flour or a bit more milk until you reach the right consistency.
- Cover it with cling film and keep it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- FOR THE CHICKEN FILLING:
- Heat up the olive oil in a large pan and add the onions and garlic. Fry for a few seconds, then add the shredded chicken and mix it well.
- Pour over the chopped tomatoes, red pesto sauce, parsley, salt and pepper.
- Cook it until there's no liquid (approximately 15 to 18 minutes) - remember, the chicken is already cooked! - and allow it to cool slightly.
- PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:
- Divide the dough into two equal parts. On a clean surface, open the first part with a rolling pin into a large disk, big enough to cover the bottom and sides of a 25cm spring form cake tin.
- Arrange the dough and prick with a fork.
- Pour in the chicken mixture and scatter lots of grated cheddar on top, or simply dollop some cream cheese.
- Open up the remaining pastry dough, large enough to cover the top of the pie, and arrange it.
- With a fork, press the edges together all round the cake tin.
- Brush the top with some beaten egg and bake it in a pre-heated oven at 200C for approximately 30 minutes, turning the temperature down to 180C after 15 minutes.
- Let it cool slighlty before removing it from the tin.
- Serve with a green salad or some boiled potatoes and steamed broccoli.
For more of Elida’s delicious recipes, go to www.elidafamilydinners.blogspot.co.uk