These Curried Chicken Pastry Cups are always the first thing to go at parties. The chicken is stirred through a curried mayonnaise, enhanced with sweet apricots and sultanas. All encased within a delicate pastry cup. They are bright, inviting and delicious.
Across the green, daisy scattered lawn, friends and family have gathered to celebrate your daughter's first birthday. There are soft baby pink balloons grouped together with the occasional silver ballon tied with rich cerise ribbon. Groups of country white chairs and the occasional picnic blanket, scattered with huge cushions are set out for your guests. Metal buckets filled with ice and bottles of champagne are arranged across the garden and the sky is a deep turquoise, tinged with pink and orange as the sun settles lower in the sky.
A stunning red velvet cake with white icing has been decorated with tiny rose buds taking centre stage on the white clothed trestle table of food. There are silver bowls of olives, wooden platters piled with cheese, silky wafer thin of ham, squares of frittata, lettuce cups filled with shrimp cocktail, mushroom bruschetta and curried chicken pastry cups.
Catering it yourself took some time, but the finished result is elegant, inviting and going by the smiles on your guests faces, delicious.
What an amazing day to celebrate the amazing gift of your first child on her very first birthday.
How to make pastry cups?
The key to getting high pastry cups is using puff pastry and cut it out without twisting the cutter. I've done it myself, you cut through the pastry and then twist the cutter round a few times to make sure it cuts all the way through.
This compresses and twists the edges of your pastry, which will prevent it from rising as the edges stay stuck together and the wonderful layers of pastry don't seperate and puff.
The best way is to use a metal cutter, dip it in flour and then press it firmly down through the pastry. Lift it straight out remove the disk to your waiting tray.
Once you have cut out the disks, use something smaller to create a internal ring. I use the back of a piping nozzle, but I have seen people use bottle caps. Don't push all the way though with this one. It is just a surface cut to make removing the middle easier.
This looks a bit like coronation chicken?
It sure does, and it loosely modelled on coronation chicken. True coronation chicken has onions, tomato puree, red wine, apricot puree and is finished with a little cream as well as mayonnaise.
This curried chicken is a quicker and easier way to make something equally delicious!
It uses curry powder, I like to use a mild one so these aren't spicy. But pick one you love. You can get my recipe for Homemade curry power here.
Can I use rotisserie chicken for this curried chicken?
If you have leftover roast chicken then definitely use that. If not, then cook a single chicken breast up to make the filling. My preferred method is to poach the chicken breast (or cook it in the sous vide machine). That keeps it beautifully moist and juicy.
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Curried Chicken Pastry Cups
To cook the chicken (skip if using leftover chicken)
- Remove the chicken from the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Place the chicken in a small saucepan and cover with boiling water. Ensure there is at least 3" of water above the chicken.
- Bring the water back to a boil then add in 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Put the lid on the pan and remove the pan from the heat. Set it aside for 25 minutes.
- Then remove the chicken from the water and allow it to cool.
To make the pastry cups
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC
- Place the pastry sheet on a floured surface to defrost.
- Once they have defrosted take a smooth 2″ (5cm) pastry cutter and dip the edge into some flour then cut out 12 circles from each sheet of pastry. Dip the cutter after every disk.
- Use a smaller cutter to score a smaller circle in the middle of each disk.
- Bake for 20 minutes until golden and puffed up.
- Remove them for from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
- Once the cups are cooled place them onto a flat service and use the handle of a wooden spoon to carefully push the centre of the pastry cup down.
- The cups can now be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
To make the curried chicken filling.
- Cut the chicken into small cubes.
- Mix the mayonnaise, curry powder, ground turmeric, brown sugar and salt together.
- Chop the dried apricots into small pieces. Then stir the apricot pieces, cubed chicken and sultanas through the mayonnaise mixture.
- At this point the mixture can be kept in the refrigerator until needed.
- Before you serve, finely chop the fresh cilantro and stir it through the mixture.
- Spoon a small amount of the chicken mixture into each cup and garnish with a small cilantro leaf.
TO PREPARE AHEAD
- The pastry cups can be made up to 2 days ahead and then kept in an airtight tub.
- The chicken mixture (minus the chopped cilantro) can be made up to 24 hours ahead and then kept refrigerated until needed.
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