Hard-body chicken potjie pie with dumplings

This dish combines the traditional South African potjie with a savoury pie crust and hard body chicken filling for a delicious meal.

This recipe incorporates hard-body chickens or Umleqwa (IsiKhosa), which have tougher meat, harder bones, and a stronger flavour. These birds are suited to long and slow cooking methods. Recipe compliments of Homegrown Tastes South Africa.

Hard-body chicken potjie pie


  • Oil
  • 1 onion, peeled & chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Boquet Garni
  • 2 tbsp Curry Paste
  • 2 tsp chicken spice
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 3 tbsp white wine
  • 1-2 cups water (depending on whether you cook on the stove or use a pressure cooker)
  • 1 hard-body chicken approx. 1,5 kg, cleaned and cut into pieces
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 8 baby onions, peeled & cut into halves
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 roll of puff pastry, cut into large circles that fit your potjie pots
  • Sesame seeds
  • Egg wash


  1. Heat oil in a large pot then sauté the onions, garlic and bouquet Garni until the onions soften.
  2. Add the chicken spice, curry paste, stock cubes, wine and water.
  3. Add the chicken & simmer for 2-3 hours on a low temperature until the chicken softens.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked add the carrots, celery and baby onions, simmer until the vegetables are tender then remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Place the cooked chicken, gravy & vegetables into miniature potpie pots, top with the puff pastry then brush with egg wash and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.
  6. Bake @ 200 C for 15-20 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown and crispy.
  7. Serve with dumplings and green leafy vegetables.

For the dumplings


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • ½ cup milk


  1. Stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in milk and mix until a batter forms that is thick enough to be scooped with a spoon. Allow batter to rest for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Drop batter by spoonfuls into boiling stew or soup. Cover and simmer without lifting the lid for 15 minutes. Serve hot.

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