Broccoli Chicken and Cheddar Hand Pies. Flaky puff pastry filled with tender chicken and broccoli, cheddar cheese, and just a hint of spice. Listen. They’re delicious. I mean honestly, you don’t even need the chicken, but to make a full meal out of them, it’s a nice addition.
I love puff pastry. It’s something I’ve never made myself, but I want to try it one day. Laminated dough is intimidating to me, and I’m not sure why. When I watch videos of it on YouTube it doesn’t seem like a very difficult process.
One day! One day I’ll make some puff pastry or croissants from scratch.
Today tho? Today is not that day. We’re using store-bought.
Omit the chicken for a vegetarian version. You can choose to leave the recipe as is otherwise, or replace the chicken with an appropriate substitute: it’ll come out great either way.
As always, you can swap out boneless skinless chicken thighs for the breasts if that’s what you have on hand or prefer. You may need to increase the cooking time by a couple of minutes.
Don’t have dehydrated bell pepper flakes? That’s cool, leave them out or sub one medium fresh red bell pepper (diced).
I choose not to roll out my puff pastry so it’s puffy as hell. You can roll yours out if you like, especially if you want more pies with less puff pastry.
I don’t think these are spicy at all, but you’re nervous just omit the cayenne and red pepper flakes.
In a small bowl, combine all of your seasonings except the red pepper flakes and kosher salt. Stir it together to make a blend, and add that to your chicken. Stir well to make sure all the chicken is seasoned. Set that aside too.
Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle in a teaspoon or so of oil. Coat the pan, and when the oil is shimmering add the broccoli. Sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes. Add the butter, then stir to combine everything and allow the butter to melt.
Once the butter is melted, add 1 tsp of water to the pan and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium-low and steam until the broccoli is tender, stirring ever so often. It’ll take about 5 minutes, give or take a few.
Once the broccoli is ready, pour it into a large bowl and add the shredded cheese. Set it aside; no need to stir it now but the cheese will be nice and melty when we add the chicken, making it a bit easier to combine things well. Increase the heat back to medium-high. Add the remaining oil to the pan and coat the bottom again.
When the oil has had a couple of minutes to heat up go ahead and add the chicken to the pan. Allow the chicken to sear on that side for 5 minutes before disturbing. After 5 minutes go ahead and start tossing it around until no more pink remains. That should take about 3-5 more minutes.
Once the chicken is done, add it to the bowl with the cheese and cooked broccoli. Use a wooden spoon to stir everything together until well combined. Set it aside.
Unfold the puff pastry sheets on the prepared baking sheet. Place one on top of the other – do this with all 6 sheets – ensuring to line up the edges, then cut them down the middle both vertically and horizontally, leaving 4 squares in each sheet. We’re using 2 per hand pie, giving us 12. I hope. Math is not a strong suit of mine.
Combine the egg and water to make an egg wash. Use your finger or a pastry brush to brush the edges of the bottom sheets with a light layer of egg wash.
Add about 1/3 C of filling to the center of each square.
Arrange the other squares on top of the filling and press down along the edges to seal. Use a fork or spoon to crimp the edges of each pie, sealing them further. We don’t want them to burst open or leak while baking!
Repeat until all of the hand pies are formed; you may have some filling leftover. Eat it with a spoon.
Use a knife to slice vents into the top of each pie, then brush the tops with egg wash.
Sprinkle on the cheddar cheese if you reserved some, then bake for 20 minutes in the oven, until golden brown. Bake in batches if your baking sheets are on the smaller side – no more than 6 at a time.
Sprinkle some parsley and crack some black pepper over the tops, and enjoy!