Pithivier with Chicken, Ham, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Herbs (Pee-‘tee-vee-a)

Yield: One, 9-inch pie with 6 – 8 servings

This simple-to-make French pie is beautiful and as delicious as it looks. Use store-bought puff pastry and it’s a snap to put together. This recipe is for a savory chicken pie and you can also make sweet pithiviers. One example is the apricot filling below.

1 package Pepperidge Farm puff pastry dough, defrosted

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, chopped

2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cups chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2 tablespoons flour

1 ½ cups chicken stock

Meat from 1 deli chicken

About 6 ounces chopped ham 1 – 1 ½ cups

½ cup chopped, cooked red bell peppers and/or ¼ – ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 egg, beaten

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, lightly roll one piece of puff pastry to about 1/8-inch thickness. Use a 9-inch cake pan to cut out a circle. Dock the surface (bottom crust). Repeat with remaining piece of puff pastry, except make this one 10 inches diameter and do not dock. Freeze rounds on prepared baking sheet while preparing filling.
  2. Filling: Heat butter in a large skillet and add onion; cook and stir until onions begin to soften. Add garlic and cook a few more minutes. Add flour; cook and stir a minute or two. Slowly whisk in chicken stock; bring to a simmer, and whisk at a simmer for a minute. Stir in chicken, ham, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, and parsley. Refrigerate mixture until cold.
  3. Remove crusts from freezer and position bottom crust in center of baking sheet. (Set top crust aside.) Pile filling in middle of bottom crust, leaving a 1-inch border clean. Lightly and carefully brush just the top of this border with the beaten egg, being careful not to let the egg drip down the sides of the puff, which would seal the sides and keep the puff from rising.
  4. Now place the remaining round on top, carefully forming around the mounded filling. Press the two edges together lightly to seal. Use a paring knife to score the top crust in the traditional spiral pattern or crosshatch or a pattern of your choice. Make a hole in the very center of the top crust. Place in freezer for 30 minutes while oven preheats to 400º.
  5. Remove Pithiviers from freezer and brush the top with egg wash, again being careful not to let the egg drip down over edges of dough. Place in preheated oven. Turn oven down to 375º and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 45 minutes.


Apricot filling:

12 ounces dried apricots, chopped

1 cup water

½ cup sugar

Simmer apricots and water 15 minutes. Stir in sugar and return to simmer. Cover, simmer on low until very thick, about 15 minutes.

Pithivier constructed and ready for the oven.