Chicken, Pea, and Spinach Turnovers
Alright, when Patrick and I were in London, we were introduced to a bakery called “Gail’s” which had an unbelievable assortment of baked goods. From scones, to pastries, fresh loaves of bread. And everything we tried was delicious, but my favorite was their chicken and pea turnover.
Have you ever traveled somewhere and eaten something so good, that you don’t know how you will live with out it? That is where this recipe comes from, but full disclaimer this recipe just doesn’t quite hit the mark for what I was trying to emulate. Don’t get me wrong, these turnovers are very VERY delicious, but I inevitably will have to go back to London one day, just to eat this god damned turnover.
It was savory without being too heavy. It had a light, buttery crust and the filling was so surprising. I never really would have thought to put peas and chicken into a hand pie, but here we are.
The crust was so light and flakey, I thought that it could have been pastry dough rather that traditional pie crust, hence the reason I initially tested this recipe with pastry.
Patrick ended up liking the pastry dough version so much that it is what I decided to go with for this post! I will include notes on using pie dough if that is what you’re prefer to use! Both methods are delicious.
Go very light on the salt for the filling. The everything bagel seasoning has salt in it, so have a light hand when cooking your chicken. Alternatively, you can use just sesame seeds on top and salt your filling to your preferred taste.
Don’t go light on the egg wash! That is how you get a dark, shiny crust.
Taking pictures of food is HARD and I’m sorry there is only one photo. It was the only one that ended up appetizing.
You can refrigerate the filling up to 2 days ahead of time and assemble later.
Yield: 8 turnovers
3 small or 4 large Chicken thighs (approximately 3/4lb)
1/2 cup frozen Peas
1/2 cup of fresh baby spinach
1 small Shallot, diced
2 tsp Fresh Thyme
2 tbsp Flour
2 tbsp Butter
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1 package of Frozen Puff Pastry (most packages come with 2 sheets of pastry)
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp everything bagel seasoning
Prep your chicken thighs by patting them dry with a paper towel, and then sprinkle salt and pepper over them. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high and cook chicken thighs until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Once cooled, dice the chicken into small pieces.
Reduce the heat to medium low, then add butter to the pan and stir to scrape up the browned bits. Next, add the shallot and cook until translucent and sprinkle in the thyme. Then add the peas until warmed through and then add the diced chicken.
Next, sprinkle flour over and stir together. Cook through for 3-4 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock and stir until sauce is reduced and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Now add the spinach and allow to wilt down.
Remove the chicken filling from heat and transfer to a new dish. Allow filling to cool completely before making turnovers.
While your filling is cooling (I popped mine in the fridge to speed this along) prep your puff pastry by thawing one sheet about 75% of the way, and place the other sheet in the fridge so it doesn’t get too warm while you work. You will want your pastry is flexible enough to handle, but still extremely cold. Roll the first sheet of dough on a floured work surface to even out any creases, then cut into 4 even squares.
In a separate bowl whisk an egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water in together. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush egg yolk along edge of one square of dough. Place 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the center of the square and fold in half diagonally.
Now dock the top of each turnover with a fork which will prevent the puff pastry from getting too poofy. It may also help to cut a small slit in the top for the turnover too vent.
Brush the tops of each turnover with remaining egg wash and liberally sprinkle the top with your everything bagel seasoning.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet, or until deep golden brown on top. Allow to cool completely before enjoying! These will keep, covered, for up to 2 days.
These are also delicious with pie crust. I recommend this recipe, however I didn’t test for the yield with this one. I am not sure how many turnovers you will get with this filling recipe!
You can follow the exact same steps as above to bake your turnovers at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. The only difference is you do not need to dock the pie dough.