Nigerian Chicken Pie
Nigerian Chicken Pies are a baked snack made from flour, butter, chicken and potatoes. It is a sister snack to Nigerian Meat Pies and as previously mentioned, chicken pies are to Nigerians what Empanadas are to Mexicans and what Beef Patties are to Jamaicans.
When I was in Nigeria, I only got Chicken Pie from Mr. Biggs; if I remember correctly, it was called Chicken Supreme, lol. Their pastry was a bit thicker than that of places like Tastee Fried Chicken and Tantalizers which was flaky. I cannot stand flaky pastry, it just irritates me to no end (no lie!). I think what I dislike so much about it, is that it’s so crumbly, ew.
Moving on, for some reason, prior to now, I always thought to make chicken pies, one had to use ground/minced chicken which I don’t care much for, until I thought to myself ‘hey, why not try chicken wings?!’ At that moment, it was a done deal for me! I think chicken pies should have texture and chicken wings will give definitely give that *see notes for more!* That said, this has lots of photos, so let’s get to it! ;)
To make Nigerian Chicken Pies, here’s what you’ll need:
|Prep Time: 30 mins
||Cook Time: 1 Hr
||Difficulty: Intermediate||Yield: 12|
- 8 whole chicken wings
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp ground red pepper
- 1.5 knorr cubes OR 1 knorr & 1 maggi cube
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 3.5 cups all purpose flour
- 2.5 sticks butter
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 s russet/regular potato
- 1 s sweet potato
- 1 egg, whisked
- Small bowl water, for sealing
1. Rinse chicken, cut off wing tips
2. Discard wing tips, cut each wing in half (at this point, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees)
3. Transfer chicken wings to bowl, add seasonings
4. Rub seasonings into chicken
5. Layer baking pan with foil & wax paper, add cooking oil spray to pan, then add chicken. Bake for 30 minutes
6. While that’s baking, work on the dough; add flour, salt and butter (cut up) into a large bowl
7. Work butter into flour with fingers till flour starts to look like bread crumbs
8. Add water in small increments; work water into flour (still with fingers!) till it starts to form a mold
9. Keep kneading till you get to this (looks like a brain huh? lol)
10. And then this (knead & roll till smooth)
11. Cover with a napkin and set aside. Peel potatoes, cut each in half and boil over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or till very soft
12. Check on chicken, remove if almost done
13. Transfer chicken to a flat plate or chopping board and de-bone (remove meat from the bone)
14. Discard bones and dice/chop up chicken
15. If potatoes are soft, mash using a potato masher or a fork
16. Add chopped chicken, mix together thoroughly; add leftover stock from baking pan, mix
17. Final mixture/filling close up
18. Divide dough into 4 parts, roll one portion at a time with a rolling pin (not too thick, not too thin)
19. Cut out a rectangular shape with a cutter
20. Add a heaping teaspoonful of filling/mixture to center of dough
21. Dip one finger in bowl of water and swipe around bottom half of dough
22. Fold dough over
23. Pinch edges shut with fingers
24. Repeat steps 19-23 for rest of dough & filling/mixture (pre-heat oven to 400 degrees)
25. Put unbaked pies on a baking pan layered with wax paper & sprinkled with flour
26. Using a baking brush, brush eggs generously over chicken pies
27. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, bake chicken pies for 30 minutes or till light golden brown
28. Let cool before transferring to serving plate
29. And yes, you’re all done!
Yes, I know, this is a very labor intensive recipe, but the results are well worth it. Read on for some tips!
- Remember from the beginning, when I said I chose chicken wings for texture? Well, what I mean by that is that with chicken wings, you have the actual meat, bits of cartilage and other crunchy/chewy bits and all that gives texture. Now, if you use just ground/minced chicken, there’s not much texture involved. On the flip side, though, it you’d rather use ground/minced chicken, there’s nothing wrong with that. I think at the end of the day, it all boils down to personal preference.
- You don’t have to bake the chicken wings till its all the way cooked. It’s okay if the outside is cooked and the inside still has some pink to it, because remember, it’s still going back in the oven with the dough to cook for another 30 minutes, during which whatever parts did not get cooked, surely will. If you prefer your chicken cooked all the way through, that works just as well.
- You don’t have to use chicken wings, you can use chicken thighs/drumsticks, but I’d try to stick with chicken parts that contain bone, as that adds extra flavor to it.
- I got the chicken wings from the regular grocery stores here in the States and chicken from there doesn’t take long to cook. That said, if you’re in Nigeria or purchase African/Nigerian chicken, I’d season and boil it first till soft. After boiling, you don’t have to bake it, that’s just an extra step that you can choose to do…or not.
- When de-boning the chicken, you’re just removing all the meat from the bone. To do this, a flat plate would usually be best and also use a fork and knife.
- You can also wait for the chicken to cool and then use your fingers to pry the meat off the bone, but the propensity to just pop it in your mouth is wayyy too great for this one, lol.
- To chop the chicken up, I used a fork and a sharp knife, but it was work I tell ya! So, I’d instead recommend using a food processor to chop it up just enough, but not too much that you end up having what could pass for minced meat. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender, but just run it through once or twice, no more! (If you’re making these for commercial purposes, I’d definitely do this to save time).
- After baking the chicken, don’t discard any leftover stock (no matter how small!) as this will serve to add some much needed moisture back into the filling mixture, as we don’t want that to be dry. If you boil the chicken, add 1-3 tablespoons of stock to the filling.
- If you don’t have a potato masher, just be sure the potatoes are soft enough so you can use a fork to mash it up.
- You don’t have to use sweet and regular potatoes. I originally decided to use only the regular/russet potato, but I got carried away, bought both and decided to use both! You can use either regular or just sweet potatoes, same difference!
- To roll out your dough, you can use a wine bottle if you don’t have a rolling pin, just be sure to wipe it down first.
- To make the rectangular shape, I didn’t have a rectangular cutter, so I used a rectangular bowl! Just press it into the dough hard enough and use a knife to cut out the shape.
- Your dough should not be too thick as it would then be too heavy and just sit in your throat and not too thin, because then, it might not be able to hold the mixture without seeping through.
- Typically, Nigerian chicken pies seem to always have that rectangular shape to them, hence me doing so, but you can use any shape you want.
- If you use salted butter, I’d skip adding the salt to the flour as that would be make the dough a tad saltier than it needs to be. (Too much sodium isn’t good for you anyway).
- The main and only purpose of the egg is to glaze the top of the dough and help give it that pretty golden color, along with a tiny bit of shine.
- Use generous portions when you’re scooping the filling into the dough, I mean who wants to eat so much dough with so little filling? :( That’s one of my gripes with Nigerian restaurants that sell meat/chicken pies, they use small amounts of filling relative to the amount of the dough.
- You can design the edges however you see fit. Use a fork to create a pattern, use a knife to make small cuts, whatever your fancy, so long as the dough closes, lol.
- If you’re a student, parent or worker, this will work for you as a quick on-the-go snack, for breakfast or a quick pick me up before lunch.
Grab a soda/mineral and just dig in! :D
Are you reading this line?! Kudos to you for reading through it!!! :)