Winter hit us with a blistering blast of below zero temperatures. I knew it was time to cook casseroles. I was thinking of casseroles that were easy to do like the classic Filipino Chicken Pastel with a Pastry Crust. This casserole was slow cooked to bring warmth to every corner of the house and calm the chill in our bones.
Chicken Pastel is the Filipino version of the Chicken Pot Pie. It has almost the same ingredients – chicken cuts nestled next to cubes of potatoes and carrots in a creamy, rich broth. The flavors are heightened with slices of robust and smokey Spanish chorizos. We don’t stop there. The entire pan is encased in a buttery blanket of homemade pastry crust. This time, I sliced the pastry crust in long strips and placed them alternately on the pan. This way, once baked, the savory aroma and luscious sight of the various ingredients could peek out temptingly around the dinner table.
As a child, I used to head first to every Chicken Pastel dish served at parties or fiestas. Mom only made this when guests were coming. To me, the allure of the large, rectangle Pyrex, with the creamy chicken and chorizos peeking through the glass, topped with a golden brown crust was hard to resist. At times, a slice on my plate was enough for the whole meal. I can still picture my fork slicing through the crunch of the crust to get through to the juicy slice of chicken and potatoes. Even amidst a big buffet of dishes, the aroma of the red bell peppers mixed with the chorizos and baked chicken was astounding.
Nowadays, I make this casserole for my family as an everyday dish. It sounds like a special dish but if cooked in stages it becomes an easy meal to put together. First, I often have on hand pie pastry crust in the freezer. I have mentioned in past blog posts, it pays to make a double batch and keep some in the freezer to make for fruit pies or a Chicken Pastel like this one.
I’ve cooked and posted a few Chicken Pastel dishes on this blog a number of times. Some recipes have varied slightly, depending on what ingredients are on hand or the time I have for cooking. I have even used leftover roast chicken in a past blog post and it was marvelous, too. For this version, I added an extra layer of sweet flavors with the Martin’s Pure Foods Pork Hamonado sausage slices – a gift from my friends at Martin’s Pure Foods, a manufacturer of Philippine cured meat products in the USA. The sweet pork hamonado sausage slices complimented the savory Spanish chorizos and creamy chicken slices.
No matter which version of Chicken Pastel I have cooked, my family has always enjoyed the warmth of every morsel in every nook and cranny of this rich, sumptuous chicken casserole.
Filipino Chicken Pastel with Pastry Crust
- Oven-proof casserole dish: rectangle 9 x 13 inches
- 1 whole single layer pastry crust see past blog post for recipe (or use store-bought)
- 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 whole Spanish chorizo sliced, about 1/2 cup
- 2 whole Pork Hamonado Longanisas (Martin's Pure Foods) from Asian markets (or use sweet-flavored Filipino longanisas)
- 1 whole onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 to 3 pounds chicken breast, boneless cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 whole potato peeled, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 whole medium-sized carrot peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 whole small red or green bell pepper sliced in 2-inch strips, seeded
- 1 whole egg beaten for egg wash
- 1 Tablespoon milk mixed into egg, for egg wash
- for serving boiled white rice
- To cook the chicken pastel filling: In a large skillet, over medium high heat, add the cooking oil. When oil is hot enough, add the Spanish chorizo and the Pork Hamonado slices. Stir around the cooking oil to flavor it for 1 to 2 minutes till the sausages brown on the edges. Remove the Spanish chorizo and hamonado slices from the skillet and set aside.
- Using the same skillet and cooking oil over medium heat, add the onions and garlic. Saute till onions are transparent after about two minutes. Add the chicken pieces and stir around for about five minutes so the chicken browns.
- Add the chicken broth or soup stock to the skillet. Add the potatoes and carrot cubes. Cover and cook till the chicken is thoroughly cooked, for about 35 minutes.
- While the chicken is simmering in the broth, add the heavy cream and the sour cream. Add strips of red or green bell pepper. Season with salt and black pepper powder. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes more.
- Transfer chicken, potatoes, carrots, creamy broth and all ingredients into a casserole dish measuring 9 inches x 13 inches (or its equivalent in a round or square container) with sides having a depth of at least 3 inches. Arrange the Spanish chorizos and Pork Hamonado slices around the chicken and potato pieces.
- To assemble the pastel: Place the rolled out pastry crust over the entire baking pan. Brush the sides with a little water to seal in the edges with your fingers. (Note: if a lattice-like pastry crust like this one is desired, slice rolled out pastry in long strips and arrange them to look like basket weave).
- Brush egg wash (beaten egg with a tablespoon of milk) over the pastry crust.
- Bake in a preheated oven of 375 F for 45 minutes or till crust is golden brown.
- To serve: Serve Chicken Pastel freshly baked from the oven or slightly warm, with boiled white rice on the side.
- Cook’s comments: If preferred, the chicken pastel can be enjoyed by itself as a meal, even without a pastry crust.
- Disclosure: I was not paid to use or mention the Martin’s Pure Foods Pork Hamonado Longanisa Sausage. They were a gift from the manufacturer. It has the sweet, longanisa (cured pork sausage) flavors that Filipinos love and makes a good ingredient for this dish. This product is available in major Asian and Filipino groceries in the USA.
- Hello, Friends! All the images and content here are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to use my photos or content on your website without my permission. If you want to republish this recipe or content, please ask my permission, re-write it in your own words and simply link back to this blog to give proper attribution. It’s the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]