RISE & SHINE KAUT43 OKC
Welcome once again to In The Kitchen With Scotty’s wonderful world of “WAIT… WHAT?!”
For this week’s segment on Rise & Shine, I’m knocking out a classic of French culinary marvel, the Pithivier. Now, in short, the pithivier is basically a stuffed pie using puff pastry. Sometimes sweet, sometimes savory, it can be made into smaller individual pies or as a larger pie for family/group settings. Legend says its origins come from the town of Pithiviers in central-northern France, so we’ll go with that. The idea is to fill your pithivier with a delicious filling of your choice, piled high in the center, enclosed in the puff pastry, and beautifully decorated (classically) with spiral ‘sunburst’ and scalloped edges. Do your best and have fun with this.
For those of you who really enjoy spending time in the kitchen and making everything from scratch, I say go for the homemade puff pastry. Of course, ready-made puff pastry is so readily available, it’s almost futile to make your own. You choose your path. My choice was to split the difference and make a “rough puff pastry”. It is a quicker version adding shredded frozen butter to the dough as opposed to starting out with one large flattened block of butter and creating the various layers that make true puff pastry so wonderful. A “rough” version speeds up the process. Buying prepared puff pastry gives you time to handle other things.. I fully support all three options!
For The Rough Puff Pastry
3 cups Bread Flour
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 1/4 cups ice water
- The idea like most pastry it to keep everything cold. Because of the work involved in folding and layering puff pastry, you don’t want the butter to soften and ooze out while preparing. So be organized, work quickly, and add enough time in between folding layers to let the dough rest in the refrigerator.
- In a mixing bowl add your flour and salt. With a box grater, grate 1 cup (sticks) of your butter into the flour and toss the shreds loosely in the mix. Shredded the last 1/2 cup separately into another bowl. Add your ice water. With your hands quickly toss and mix, then pour out onto a floured work surface and knead.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle. Sprinkle the top with some of your separate shredded butter. Fold one end to the center, then the other end. Fold over into one “book page” fold. Roll the dough into another rectangle. Cover in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the chilled dough and repeat the process of sprinkling the top with separate shredded butter, fold in both ends, the fold on top of each other. Roll into a rectangle and chill. Do this three times or until your separately shredded butter is used up.
- Half the dough, using one half for the bottom of your pithivier and the other for the top of your pithivier. I like saying pithivier in my head while typing this. Roll the first half out to 1/4-1/8” thickness. Using a form, plate, or geometry, cut out a 9-10” circle. Save the scraps, cover, and place in the fridge for later use if needed.
- Prepare a baking sheet large enough to hold your pithivier. There's that word again. Fit a pice f parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. Carefully lay the bottom round dough into the center of the pan and place in the fridge to keep cold.
- Roll the second half out to the same desired thickness and at least double the circumference of the bottom round. I chose not to cut out into a circle but ensuring there would be enough “overage” to fully cover the filling of the pithivier.
- See the rest of the recipe “For The Filling” procedures for further baking instructions.
For The Filling:
I chose to do a spinach-goat cheese, potato, chicken and roasted red pepper filling. The great thing about a savory pithivier is that you can utilize “leftovers” to create a whole new meal. The fresh spinach, goat cheese, and chicken thighs I purchased. The roasted potatoes and red pepper I had leftover from a previous meal. Had I had leftover cooked greens and roasted chicken, it would have been more of a “leftover” meal. My point being… create something wonderful for your pithivier filling utilizing as many leftovers as you can!
Olive Oil for sautéing
1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
20 ounces fresh baby spinach
12 ounces Chèvre goat cheese
3 large cloves fresh garlic, smashed and chopped
2 large or 3 small whole roasted red bell peppers, skinned seeded and pith removed ( you may substitute jarred whole roasted red pepper)
1 pound roasted new potatoes or yellow Yukon, sliced thick
6 stems fresh Thyme
1 tablespoon dried Fines Herbs (optional)
Egg wash (2 large egg yolks + splash of water, mixed)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. If you are not utilizing leftovers begin by slicing the potatoes 1/8” thick, skin on. Toss them in a bit of olive oil and season with In The Kitchen With Scotty “Cook’s Line Seasoning” to taste. Layout in a single layer on a baking pan and roast until tender and golden brown, 20 minutes. Remove from the oven a cool completely.
- For the Spinach: In a large sauté pan add a few “glugs” of olive oil and heat until the oil shimmers. Adding batches of your spinach at a time, sauté and wilt the spin down until soft and a bright green. Season with a few pinches of Cook’s Line Seasoning to taste along with the chopped garlic, and Fines Herbs if using. Remove the sautéed spinach to a strainer placed over a bowl. We want as much water removed from the cooked spinach as possible before filling out pithivier.
- Once all the spinach has been cooked and in the strainer, using your hands or the back of a large spoon, press out as much liquid as you can until you have solidly squeezed out the cooked spinach. Place the cooked spinach in a bowl and chill thoroughly. Mix in the chèvre goat cheese in with the spinach. Taste for seasoning and add if needed.
- For the chicken thighs: Season your boneless/skinless thighs front to back with Cook’s Line Seasoning and the stemmed fresh thyme. In the same pan you sautéed the spinach, add a few glugs of olive oil. Heat until shimmering and gently lay the seasoned chicken thighs down in the oil. Carefully brown each side, about five minutes on each side, then place the entire pan in the oven to finish roasting off. Make sure your pan is oven proof of course, If not add the chicken to a roasting dish. Cook the chicken thighs for 15 minutes and remove from the oven. Let the chicken rest 15 minutes. Slice the chicken into thin strips.. they may be underdone and that is perfect. We want the chicken to finish cooking on the oven with the pithivier. Let the chicken cool completely.
- To Build Your Pithivier: Lay the slices of roasted and cooled potatoes to the bottom round of your puff pastry in a circular spiral pattern. Shingle or overlap the potato slices making sure to leave an inch border from the edge of the pastry.
- Next, add the whole roasted red pepper. Open the whole roasted pepper, and lay it flat on top of the potatoes. Remember every slice count, so make sure the red pepper layer is all red pepper. No gaps or holes.
- Next, layer on the sliced chicken. Shingle/overlap the strips so that all of the chicken is used. We want this pithivier to be fully packed so make it all fit.
- Finally, mound on the spinach and goat cheese mixture. Cover the entire top with this layer being sure to mound the mixture in the center as high as you can.
- Brush the outside edge of your bottom pastry with the egg wash. Lay the top half of your puff pastry over the top of your filling, and sealing the two edges together by pressing the top edge down on the egg washed bottom edge. “Scallop” the edges with a knife, cookie cutter, whatever works for you.
- On the top of your Pithivier and in the center, cut a hole to allow steam to escape… like an old-fashioned double crust pie. With the back of a paring knife, not the sharp end, start from the center hole and score lines like “curved rays” of sunlight.
- You may also embellish the top and sides with cutouts from the pastry scraps… just glue them down with the egg wash. Once you’re all decorated and ready for the oven, brush the entire outside of the pithivier with the egg wash. This will add a golden brown shiny surface to your dish. Place in the oven and bake 50-60 minutes. If you notice the outside is going too brown, loosely cover in foil and keep baking.
- Remove the pithivier from the oven and let it rest a good 30 minutes. It is so thick and full of great ingredients the interior will not go cold…. But you are slowing for the filling to settle and juices to absorb.
- Slice out your portions and serve warm. You’re free to add a sauce of your choice, a meat/poultry sauce or even a tomato based sauce. Enjoy! Say PITHIVIER one more time for me!