Monday, October 24, 2011

Chicken Pie

This is a very traditional Brazilian take on chicken pie. In Brazil, we call it "empadão de frango".
It is not complicated, but as with pies in general, it is a little time consuming. I had the whole Sunday, that I promised myself I wouldn't work. Nothing like spending a cold Sunday baking. I also baked a cake, (recipe later) I was never a big baker. I like to eyeball things and that just doesn't work with baking, or chemistry experiments.
So here is the Recipe:
3 cups of flour
1 stick of butter, (about 100g)
1/2 cup of canola oil
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 cup milk 
1 teaspoon of salt
Mix the ingredients by hand, (it is not a sticky dough.)
Cover a springform pan, bottom and sides and poke with a fork.

3 cups of chicken breast (cooked and shredded)
1 small onion, chopped finely.
3 cloves of garlic, minced or through a garlic press.
2 cups of crushed tomatos. (I buy them in a can, no salt added, no basil, just tomatoes)
1 cup of chopped green olives
1 cup of chopped palm hearts. (Some palm hearts can be tough, so when you are chopping, if it feels fibrous, toss it. I usually discard the outer layer and use the soft centers.) Or you can substitute for corn kernels.
1 cup of catupiry cheese. Ok, this is the tricky part. I buy it at a Brazilian market, here in LA. It looks like this: 

I think Philadelphia cream cheese may work. I never tried it, but I imagine it would take a little longer to melt.

Sauté the onions until translucent. 
Add the garlic and the chicken and give it a nice stir for a minute or so. Add the tomatoes, olives, palm hearts (or corn)  and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the cheese and blend it well. The mixture should not be runny, but a nice cream. If you think it's too thick, you can add a drop of milk.

 Fill the pie crust and top it however you like it. I didn't have a lot of tools nor patience. So mine was a basic top with a little heart (I need to get some more cookie cutters). I also had some left overs so I made a little one. Brush it with egg wash, and bake it for about 30 minutes depending on the thickness of the crust. It should look golden brown. Let it cool for 15 minutes and serve it with a nice salad.