Meraai se Chicken Pie (Paai) on RSG

Meraai se Chicken Pie will feature on my radio slot tomorrow morning on RSG. I do not know who Meraai was or where this pie comes from, but it certainly is the best Chicken Pie I have EVER had. I must have known that a pie of this caliber can only come from Bloemfontein……..hearty, comforting, unforgettable …..just like the people from Bloemfontein.
Yes, I warned you about getting tired of my Bloemfontein ravings, but what can I say, I’m hooked. Last Tuesday night, while I was there, my friend Retha Cronje invited me to supper. On arrival at her house she told me that she made a pie …. Meraai se Chicken Pie! The aromas coming from her kitchen should have been warning enough that his was going to be legendary. The pie she took from the oven, was a thing of beauty……huge too! Need I say more…the pie was so delicious, the company as warm and heartfelt as the pie and as we sunk into our chairs to watch Masterchef South Africa….. great was our amusement when the challenge for the night was……you guessed it….Meraai se Pie! If only the contestants had this recipe! I am sure you could easily feed 8-10 people on it and have a little leftover for a lunchbox the next day.

To just set the record straight, I can make a chicken pie, a darn good one at that and I make it often, heck I’ve even sold a few in my lifetime…… ( Nina, drops head in shame!) Sadly, my pies will have to take a back seat for a while….this is the new  Chicken Pie….Meraai se Chicken Pie.
In Bloemfontein, I really understood what it means to celebrate food rather than the individuals who make it. Sharing this recipe, was just the most natural thing to do and no one is threatened by the fact that someone else’s pie will taste better than theirs….it is just important that this recipe will pass on to the next generation. I hope by sharing this recipe on RSG and posting it here on my blog, it really will become a heritage that will be passed on from one generation to the next.
BE WARNED! This recipe is not for someone who counts calories, certainly not, although I hope if you fall into this category, you will take the allowed teaspoon of pie and see the error of your ways!( jokes)

Here it is then, courtesy of Retha and all the other beautiful ladies of Bloemfontein. I applaud you and miss you more than you will ever know!

Meraai se Chicken Pie (Paai)
serves 8-10 people

2 kg chicken fillets – skin and boneless
250 ml chicken stock
250 ml cup white wine
30 ml chopped garlic
5 ml salt
5 ml pepper
200 g ham – I used Bergdale Gypsy Ham ( light smokey taste – bacon too overpowering)
2 medium onions – finely chopped
250 g button mushrooms – quartered
250 ml chopped parsley

250 g butter ( yes, this is correct!)
250 ml flour
500 ml chicken stock (the stock you kept from cooking the chicken)
250 ml sour cream
500 ml milk

400 puff pastry
1 egg, beaten for egg wash

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C. 
  2. Heat the chicken stock, wine, garlic, salt and pepper in a pot and add the chicken breasts to the stock. Poach for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. 
  3. Remove chicken from the pot, pour the stock in a jug, but keep it for the sauce.
  4. Cut chicken into smaller pieces and mix with ham, onions, mushrooms and parsley  take note that the mushrooms, onions and parsley must be raw)in a mixing bowl.
  5. In the same pot that you have used for the chicken,  melt the butter over medium heat and add all the flour and stir for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, the milk and the sour cream and sir until you have a rich creamy sauce. Add the chicken and other ingredients to the sauce and mix through. Transfer mixture to a big pie dish and cool slightly. Roll out the pastry and cut a “lid” big enough to cover the pie. Place on the pie, make a little steam hole in the middle of the pie and brush with egg wash.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pie is golden brown.
  7. Serve with steamed broccoli, some boiled potatoes or s simple green salad.
More tasty pies to chose from 

Tune in to RSG tomorrow (100-104FM) morning (Thursday)just after 9 when I share a different easy recipe from My Easy Cooking. You can also listen online here!