This chicken curry pie recipe uses the classic Cambodian chicken curry to make a flavourful spicy chicken pie. Unlike the classic curried chicken pie which uses curry powder to flavour the chicken filling, this recipe uses a Cambodian red curry paste. The classic Cambodian chicken curry has potatoes, long beans and Asian eggplants, which we’ve included to create a really hearty chicken pie.
A chicken curry pie recipe is nowhere near as popular back home in Australia where the classic meat pie rules in our meat pie and sausage roll loving country. However, if we happen to come by an award-winning artisanal bakery* on our travels and they have a curried chicken pie, we’ll always get one to try it, because Lara is a curried chicken pie lover and when they’re made by a great bakery they tend to be incredibly delicious.
Chicken curry pies are also a good option for people who don’t eat red meat, however, note that great bakeries in Australia will often sell out of their curried chicken pies early in the day, as a bakery will generally only make a very small amount of chicken pies compared to the classic meat pie that Aussies love so much. (Having said that, we’re also experimenting with a vegetarian pie based on a classic Cambodian soup recipe that Lara will post over coming days.)
Now if you want to make a curried beef pie, do try my recipe for a curry beef pie made with Cambodian Saraman curry based on Cambodia’s wonderful Saraman curry, a rich complex curry that’s a cousin of Thailand’s Massaman Curry. If you’re also partial to a sausage roll, try my Saraman curry sausage rolls and my sausage rolls with eggplant and pork inspired by the Cambodian char-grilled eggplant and minced pork.
* If you’re travelling in Australia, this is the website you need to check for the best Australian bakeries to try for award winning meat pies and sausage rolls.
Chicken Curry Pie Recipe Made with Cambodian Chicken Curry
When making chicken curry pies back home in Australia, good commercial bakeries will typically use boneless chicken thigh meat that’s trimmed of excess fat, which is what we use for our Cambodian chicken curry. In a good Australian bakery, the sauce for the curried chicken pie is usually made from chicken stock and a little cream, and flour is used as a thickening agent.
In my homemade chicken curry pie recipe, I do exactly what I do if I’m making a Cambodian chicken curry and I use coconut milk and chicken stock, which is cooked until the sauce is reduced until it’s very thick. I can’t emphasise how important this is.
I like to make a big batch of the Cambodian chicken curry and save some so I can make this homemade chicken curry pie recipe the next day, setting aside a couple of intact chicken thighs for the hearty filling. I chop these up before refrigerating the Cambodian curry overnight.
Note that it’s important that there is not much ‘loose’ sauce left. When you take the curry out of the fridge the next day, there should only be a little oil on the curry. If there’s too much, separate this from the curry as this will possibly leak out of the pie casings.
My number one tip for working with pie pastry to make this homemade chicken curry pie recipe is to stay calm. Have all of your cutting rings ready, as well as your egg wash. Work in a cool room. I actually have to do all my pastry and bread-making prep in my home office as I have a concrete and Italian terrazzo ‘desk’ (yep) that stays cooler in the smaller space, whereas our kitchen is like an oven.
I turn the A/C down to 20˚C before working with the pie pastry. While it’s easy to work with the puff pastry (you’re basically working with a single circle of dough), the shortcrust pastry has to be moulded into the pie tin. Don’t worry if it splits or you need to add more pastry to create the overlap over the edges of the tin. It’s easy to add to or fix the dough.
Tips to Making the Cambodian Chicken Curry
Note that we’ve swapped out sweet potatoes for regular potatoes as we find that cooking the sweet potatoes (which break down faster) in the curry muddies the flavour of the curry. If you want to use sweet potatoes I recommend cooking them separately and adding them to the curry at the last minute.
Chop the long beans into tiny pieces and make sure to chop up the chicken thighs into bite-sized chunks. While my original recipe for the Cambodian chicken curry, which I’ve linked to above, calls for a whole chicken, this chicken curry pie recipe requires 600 g of boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat.
Chicken Curry Pie Recipe Made with Cambodian Chicken Curry
- 4 individual pie tins, 12cm at the top, 8cm at the bottom and 3.5 cm deep
- 800 g Cambodian chicken curry as per the recipe
- 2 sheets shortcrust pastry frozen 25.5 cm square
- 1 sheet puff pastry frozen 25.5 cm square
- 1 whole egg lightly beaten lightly beaten
- Make the Cambodian chicken curry as per the instructions here and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
- When you’re ready to make the pies, remove the shortcrust pastry from the freezer and allow to thaw a little.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut 4, 14 cm rounds. Lightly grease the pie tins and place the shortcrust pastry into the tins, working away from the centre. You should have around 1 cm of pastry hanging over the edges. Refrigerate the pie tins for at least two hours to firm up the pastry.
- After two hours, remove the puff pastry from the freezer and allow to thaw a little.
- Remove the pie tins from the fridge and fill each pie tin with the Saraman Curry. Baste the overhanging pastry with the beaten egg.
- Cut the puff pastry sheets into 12.5 cm rounds and place each on top of each pie tin. Fold the shortcrust pastry over the puff pastry and seal all around. You can use the back of a fork and go around the top to ensure the seal is good.
- Make a small incision in the centre of each pie to form an air vent. Brush the top of the pie with more beaten egg, being careful to not cover the air vent. Place the pies back in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C with a baking tray on the centre rack.
- When ready remove the pies from fridge and place on the baking tray. Cook for 10-12 minutes at which time the top should be lightly golden.
- Reduce the heat to 180˚C and cook for another 10 minutes to ensure the centre of the pie is hot. If the tops of the pies start to look too golden brown, you can place a sheet of aluminium foil on top of the pies.
- When done, allow to cool slightly before eating.