As a girl with third world sensibilities, I have a horror of throwing out perfectly good food. I also understand, however, that trying to finish tons of leftovers can just kill the appetite. So while I don’t mind recycling edible, clean food… I like to do it with a little style and effort.
These aren’t really proper samosas. They aren’t even empanadas. I am not sure what they are. They are chicken pot pies but I avoid calling it that because my proper chicken pot pie is a casserole. Anyway, the silly name sorts of ensures it will be consumed. People can be very fickle about what they put in their mouths and I do not blame them.
Since I took the trouble of recycling leftovers, I decided to document the process, too.
Proportions doubled from original dough recipe of the Culinary Institute of America’s The Professional Chef (9th edition). The method, however, is pretty much what I remember from cooking school.
24 oz. all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 fluid oz. warm water
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a large bowl, sift the flour. Sprinkle the salt on top. Make an indentation in the center of the flour and pour the water and oil into the hole. With a large wooden spoon or a spatula, slowly mix in the liquid into the flour mixture. If it begins to get difficult to use a spoon, knead the mixture with very clean hands, trying to get everything into one big mass. When the dough is smooth, cut into two (or four) pieces and shape into square discs. Cover each disc individually with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
While waiting, consider your filling.
The Week’s Chicken Filling
For the filling of this particular version, I used my brother-in-law’s delicious chicken asado, two-thirds of a Costco roast chicken, and the last pieces of my chicken paprika. I could have thrown in a couple of other odds and ends but I feel it was important to preserve the flavor profile of the chicken asado, which I wanted to dominate over everything else. Aside from the leftovers, I assembled:
1 onion, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
leftover chicken, no skin, chopped up nicely
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup frozen peas
1 to 2 teaspoons paprika
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
salt and pepper
I browned the onions in warm olive oil, added the chicken, tomato sauce, peas, and seasonings to taste.
Since I have no idea what leftovers you might be using, good luck with experimenting. Just remember to let the filling cool down before assembling the faux samosas.
On a large, well-floured board, place the chilled dough. Dig out your rolling-pin. (The CIA dough procedure uses a pasta maker, but since I sold mine when I moved, the rolling pin is an old-fashioned option.)
If you don’t own a rolling pin, a gonzo option includes any heavy cylindrical glass you may have in the cupboard. Just exercise caution while doing this. You don’t want broken glass all over your hands. A tinned soup can, without a label and absolutely clean, should work too.
With clean, well-floured hands and a well-floured rolling pin, roll out the dough, using even pressure throughout. Rotate the dough with each turn, to make sure it does not stick to the bottom of board. Roll out the dough until it reaches a 1/4 inch thickness.
At this point I would like to point out my dough is far from perfect. I can see air pockets and folds. If aesthetics doesn’t bother you too much, feel free to ignore these things in your own work too.
Dig out your pizza cutter—or any sharp chef knife—and cut the dough into squares.
Place a teaspoon or two of chicken filling in the center of the dough square.
For a bit of old-school charm, bring out a fork and primp the edges of the dough.
Just before deep-frying, brush the surface of the faux samosas with egg wash.
Deep fry in a good quantity of hot oil. Let drain briefly on clean paper towels before serving hot.