Pastei is a very old dish and was brought to Suriname by the Jewish settlers. It is a simple dish made from chicken, carrots and peas, and closely resembles chicken pot pie. It is served best with plain white rice.
For the dough
For the filling
- 3 large pieces of chicken (drumstick and thigh, breast, what have you. I use breast most often.)
- 3 pickles
- 3 hard boiled eggs
- 1 or 2 cans of peas and carrots
- 1 tblsp piccalilli (mustard can be substituted)
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 piece of young celery
- 1 fresh chili pepper (or bell pepper if preferred) (optional)
- 2 tblsp ketchup
- 150 g butter or margarine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- 1 large onion
- salt or bouillon cubes to get the right taste.
For the dough
If you're on a tight schedule, puff pastry works just as good so you can use that instead of making your own dough.
- Mix the butter with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon. Keep adding little bits of the water until the butter has absorbed it all.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and the salt all together and add this through the butter gradually. To see if the dough is rollable, press your finger on it and if the dough doesn't stick to it, it's fine. If the dough does stick however, add about 25 more grams of flour.
- Roll out the dough to make it flat.
- Put the flattened dough in a baking pan or aluminum foil pan (the pan has to be buttered on the inside before the dough is put in it). Press the dough to the corners of the pan so that as much filling as possible can go in. Do not use all the dough for the inside of the pan, because after the pan has been filled, it needs to be closed off at the top with dough as well.
For the filling
- Wash the chicken (if necessary).
- For about half an hour, cook the chicken, 100 g butter, fine chopped onion, 2 or 3 bouillon cubes, the fresh pepper, the bay leaf and some allspice in about 1 or 1.5 cups of water.
- After this time, strip the chicken (discarding the bones) into little pieces.
- Put the rest of the butter in the broth in which the chicken had been boiled.
- In a pan, put a little bit of oil and when that is hot, add a little bit of fine chopped onion.
- Add the chicken. After a minute add the chopped tomatoes and the peas and carrots.
- Every so often, add a little bit of the chicken broth to the pan so that it won't burn.
- Add the chopped pickles.
- After the broth has been added and the whole seems good, taste to see if it has enough salt, otherwise add some.
- After the whole has cooled off a bit, get the baking pan with the dough already in it put the chicken and sch in the pan until it is nicely filled.
- Slice your cooked eggs and place them on top of the filling in the pan.
- After this is done, the baking pan can be closed off with another piece of dough on the top of the pan. Try to close it up as best as possible.
- Put the pastei in a preheated oven and leave it for about ¾ of an hour.
- A few minutes before you take it out of the oven, you can lightly streak the top with some whisked egg to make the top shiny and a little crisp.