Vietnamese curried chicken pot pie
A curried chicken pot pie is a warm and comforting fall dish.
As summer wanes and the autumn leaves turn hues of bright red and orange, we instinctively turn to warm comforting foods like curry. Not a single spice, curries encompass a broad range of spices unique to the geographic locale across many different countries and ethnicities. Aromatics such as galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and chili are pounded and mixed with dried spices, layering complex flavors upon flavors. Typically, curries are composed of a protein, poultry, beef, or seafood along with vegetables in a thick, gravy like sauce. In Vietnam, curry is called ca ri, and the most common preparation is a rich and hearty chicken stew, called ca ri ga. Chunks of potato, carrots, onions are added and the meal is completed with toasted baguette or simply ladled over a steaming bowl of jasmine rice.
However, one variation that we're particularly fond of is ca ri ga pot pie using puff pastry. Take our favorite part of a pot pie (the crust) and add it to intensely fragrant curry. We don't care if you call it fusion, it's just mighty good!
There are many varieties of curries and for a more in depth discussion, read about curries with this excellent article. We prefer using Mae Ploy brand Massaman curry paste for this dish, because it contains a wider array of spices as well as a hint of cinnamon. But feel free to experiment! This brand is great because it comes in a resealable jar and keeps for months in the fridge.
A couple that cooks together stays together, says Hong and Kim Pham. They love to cook and believe good food not only brings people together, but also strengthens bonds and forges wonderful memories. Hong and Kim specialize in Asian, specifically Vietnamese cuisine, and love to share not only our food but also their culture.
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Ca ri ga Vietnamese chicken curry
1 1/2 lbs chicken (cut in 1-1/2 inch pieces, we prefer skin and bone on hind quarters, but use your favorite cuts)
1 medium shallot, minced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk of lemongrass (finely mince about 1 tablespoon) save remainder of white stalk for broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoon Massaman curry paste, divided in half
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 cup coconut milk
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cup potatoes, peeled, cut about 1 inch pieces (feel free to mix in sweet potatoes or yams if desired)
1 1/2 cup carrots, peeled, cut on diagonal 1 inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, peeled, cut in wedges
1 green onion, thinly chopped
1 sheet store bought puff pastry
1 tablespoon water