Pie project: Pastel na manok

Over the last several months I’ve been baking pies at the rate of one pie a month, and the other day I got in just under the wire for May. To mix things up I switched gears from dessert pies and at my mother’s suggestion decided to make pastel na manok, or Filipino chicken pot pie. I used a recipe from a cookbook I received as a gift a few Christmases ago, The Filipino-American Kitchen: Traditional Recipes, Contemporary Flavors by Jennifer M. Aranas.

Some of the ingredients, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, and leek:

Pastel ingredients

The recipe calls for chorizo de bilbao, which I couldn’t find at the supermarket (granted I didn’t look very hard; I could have gone to one of the many ethnic food markets around us), so I substituted Mexican-style chorizo and pre-cooked it before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. It all turned out pretty well, and the pie definitely had the gingery, pepper-y flavors I recall.

If I make this again, though, I think I will make my own regular pie crust — ooh, I feel all culinary as I say that — as I’ve done for the other pies. This recipe recommends using store-bought puff pastry for convenience, and though it tasted fine, I guess I’m not used to working with it. I didn’t roll out the sheet large enough, so it sunk down the sides. (That’s when you just call it “rustic.”) No pictures of the final product, since I give it for dance, 10. For looks, 3. Trust me, the picture from the cookbook is much more appetizing:

Pastel na manok

In any case I can even see making just the filling as a stew like caldereta and serving it over rice or with potatoes.

So it’s already June and time to start thinking of this month’s pie! Any suggestions?

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