Savory Pithivier Recipe
In the savory baking world, the savory pithivier is hands down the most under appreciated. While you may enjoy yourself the occasional chicken pot pie or late night Austalian pie floater now and again, the savoury pithivier is France’s delicate, flaky answer to the international demand for meat pies.
Originating in Pithiviers, France, the pithivier is a French puff pastry recipe that involves baking a mound of filling between two egg washed discs of puff pastry dough. Think of it as what a drunken Julia Child would munch on. The filling can either be sweet or savory, but I am more of a savory kind of baker so this savory pithivier recipe includes roasted chicken thigh, fennel and tomato. You can also sub out components of the filling for common ingredients like apples and wild mushrooms.
This savoury pithiviers recipe takes a bit of time, but you can make ahead of time if necessary as there are a few steps that involve refrigerating items. This savory pithivier also lends itself to baking these in bulk, so feel to get weird and go pie-ral.
Savory Pithivier Recipe
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 bulbs fennel, trimmed and slice to 1/4 thickness
- 2 pounds of chicken thighs
- Parsley, chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 pound plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- Puff pastry
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 4-6 tablespoons of crème fraîche
- Tarragon, chopped
- A splash of white wine (optional)
- 1 egg
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F. Spread olive oil on the bottom of a roasting pan and top fennel. Drizzle more olive oil on top with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Top baked fennel with chicken thighs and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with more olive oil or spoon reserve olive oil from bottom of the roasting pan. Bake for 15 minutes, and then baste the chicken with its juices. Bake for another 15 minutes until browned (30 minutes total).
- Allow chicken to cool. Shred with fork and set aside. Reserve baked fennel in a separate bowl as well.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread olive oil on the bottom of a roasting pan. Place plum tomatoes in pan with cut side facing up and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until skin wrinkles, about 1 hour. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine shredded chicken thigh, parsley, lemon juice, crushed garlic, crème fraîche, tarragon, salt and pepper. Add additional crème fraîche if too thick. Mixture should not be too loose.
- Roll out a sheet of plastic wrap and place 1 of the roasted tomato halves in the center, with skin side down. Scoop scoop 1/2 cup of chicken-crème fraîche mixture on top. Tightly wrap into a ball and place into the fridge. Repeat for all remaining chicken-crème fraîche mixture. Allow to chill for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, roll out puff pastry sheets and cut discs with 3 or 4-inch rings. Place discs on parchment paper.
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a small cup, whisk together egg and 2-3 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash.
- Remove cooled filling ball from fridge and carefully remove plastic wrap. Place filling ball on a pastry disc with the roasted tomato facing upwards. Make sure 1-2cm is free around the edges.
- Gently egg wash the exposed pastry disc edges around the filling ball. Place another pastry dish on top to cover filling. Crimp or press the edges together to seal.
- Gently egg wash the top of the pithivier and then decorate/score the top of the pastry by running a sharp knife around in a pattern. Be sure to cut a small circle in the center to allow for hot air to escape.
- Chill in fridge for 15 minutes.
- Bake in pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until puffed and golden.
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