My Goan Mother – Rita’s Famous Chicken Pie.
Friends and family have often begged for the recipe and for most of my siblings and myself, Christmas, Easter and birthdays have always been satisfying with just one serving of Mom's chicken pie. A decade or so later I've decided to share the recipe here. Please whisper a prayer for my family when you make this dish. I know you are going to love it as much as I do.
· 1 tray Danish chicken (1 and a half kilo)
· 1 tin button mushrooms (these usually come parboiled)
· 1 big tin Kraft cheese
· 4 tbsp (250 gms) Maida
· Nestle Cream tin
· Butter (unsalted 300 grams)
· 3 eggs
· 2 coffee-cups full fat milk
· A pinch of salt, pepper, (2 tablespoons) ginger-garlic paste
· Celery stick (optional)
1. Wash the chicken and marinate in a little salt pepper and a bit of ginger-garlic paste. Leave for 15-20 mins.
2. Grate Kraft cheese. Cut up some celery sticks as it adds a nice flavour to the dish.
3. Drain water from the mushrooms and dice them up.
4. Boil chicken till water almost dries up. Use enough water to make the chicken tender.
5. When done, cool for a while. Shred the chicken.
6. In another saucepan on low flame, melt 2 tbsp butter, add 4 heaped table spoons of maida to the saucepan. Add one coffee cup of full fat milk and gently stir.
7. Now add the shredded chicken, diced mushrooms, grated cheese (save enough for the pie top), and cream. Mix properly for five minutes on low flame.
Wipe sweat off eyebrow. Step back and admire the mess around the kitchen. In the meanwhile, I hope you've kept the oven on for at least 30 mins on 350 degrees.
While that is happening, take a big pyrex dish and generously coat with butter - top, bottom, sides. This will prevent the pie from sticking to your dish. Pour the prepared mixture into pan.
8. Spread grated cheese (which we warned you to save earlier) on top of mix. Beat the 3 eggs. Pour over mix.
9. Now sprinkle breadcrumbs on top.
10. Drive hungry husband and children out of kitchen, because there's one final step left for this magical dish to come alive.
11. Gently place dish in oven (remember it has been real hot for 30 mins) and turn oven to low (150°). Leave inside for 45 mins. (You can watch an episode of Friends in the time being).
12. For last five minutes, place the pie in the upper grill so that the breadcrumbs become nice and brown. Any longer and the top will become hard, so beware.
Your chicken pie is ready. And you join that select group of people who share this secret recipe. Now go ahead and make new fans :) This Goan recipe is usually paired with Pulao (yellow rice) and a fresh - simple salad. (Text and photograph by Abigail Mathias)