Chicken and pesto samosas, followed by samosas filled with creamy orange custard. A complete meal for two wrapped up in pastry!
Start the savoury filling. Cook the chicken. Bring a small pan of water to the boil, add the chicken breast and poach for 20 minutes. Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
Make the chill jam dip. Put the chilli and pepper in a food processor and blitz for 10 seconds. Add the onion and garlic, blitz again for 10 seconds, then add the lemon juice and white wine vinegar and blitz again.
Place the sugar and pectin in a small pan and mix well. Add 50ml of water and cook on a high heat until dissolved. Add the chilli mixture, then bring to the boil, stirring often, for about 8 minutes, until the mixture reaches 104°C/219°F on the cooking thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the jam into the sterilised jam jar. Cover with a lid and leave to cool.
Make the pesto, dry fry the pine nuts until golden. Crumble the Parmesan cheese into a food processor and add the toasted pine nuts, along with the basil, oil and garlic cloves. Blitz until finely chopped. Set aside.
Make the pesto gel. Soak the gelatine in 2 tablespoons of cold water for 5 minutes. Warm 70g of the pesto in a small pan over a low heat, then add the gelatine and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve into a small bowl. Leave to set.
For the orange crème pâtissière, pour the cream and milk into a medium pan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the pan, then add the pod to the pan, too. Heat on a medium heat to just below boiling point.
While the cream mixture is heating up, use a balloon whisk to whisk the whole egg, egg yolk and sugar in a medium bowl until pale, then whisk in the cornflour and orange zest.
Once the cream mixture has almost come to the boil, remove from the heat and pour one third into the egg mixture, whisking continuously, until fully combined. Keep whisking and add the remaining cream mixture, then pour the custard back into the pan.
Heat the custard, stirring continuously over a low heat, until thickened and smooth (about 3–4 minutes). Spread the crème pâtissière in a shallow dish and cover the surface with cling film. Leave to cool.
For the suzette syrup, place the orange zest and juice in a small pan. Add the sugar and butter, and place over a medium heat. Swirl the pan gently to melt the butter, then simmer for 10 minutes, until thick and syrupy. Stir in the liqueur and simmer for 1 minute to burn off the alcohol. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To make the samosa dough, put the flour and oil in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and mix with your hands to an almost breadcrumb consistency.
Add about 100–120ml of water and mix to form a dough, then knead until smooth. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to firm up.
Cut the dough into 12 balls each of 35g. On a lightly floured worktop, roll each ball to a rough 15 x 7.5cm rectangle. Stack the rectangles on top of each other, liberally sprinkling the flour and cornflour mixture between each layer. (This will stop the layers sticking together.)
Roll out the stacked layers to a rectangle measuring about 35.5 x 12.5cm. This ensures that the individual pieces are rolled out as thinly as possible.
To finish the savoury filling, finely chop the chicken into small pieces and mix it with the remaining pesto. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 180°C/350°F.
Take 1 layer of pastry and straighten the edges with a knife. With the first pastry rectangle laid out with the short end closest to you, place a spoonful of mixture at the top. Lift the pastry under the filling and flip it over to create a triangle at the top of the strip of pastry, then keep folding over the pastry and enclosed filling, this way and that way, making triangles, until you reach the end of the strip. Seal the edge with a little water. Repeat until you have made 6 savoury samosas.
Deep fry the samosas 3 at a time for 10 minutes, turning once or twice, until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm. Decorate each chicken samosa with ½ a teaspoon of pesto gel and a Greek basil leaf. Serve with chilli jam.
Use the crème pâtissière to make 6 sweet samosas, frying as in Step 17. Drizzle the melted dark chocolate over the sweet samosas and serve with the prepared suzette syrup.