Afghan Chicken Potpie Loaf
Recently my husband and I joined my in laws for a winter holidays dinner. As my husband works in the hospital, we quarantine from my in laws during that period of time just to be safe in case he’s had exposure to Covid patients. Since he was going to be working on New Years this year, we decided to do our holiday dinner earlier to be able to enjoy it with his parents.
And so a week ago, the list of cravings was made and shopping was done in time. Except as most holiday dinners go, the table was bursting at the seams with dishes, so much so that there was an entire roast chicken left (minus it’s legs and wings). I knew I had to do something special to recreate this roast chicken into a new dish to give some life to the many leftovers we were going to continue to enjoy for the next few days. Meanwhile, my own family chat was filled with my mother’s baking and cooking ideas, her many uses of puff pastry that week and talk of trying out a Potpie. Thus it came to me, why not recreate my Afghan chicken into a Potpie? I personally don’t enjoy a thick pie crust much but I love the balance of flakiness found in a strudel. And thus the Afghan chicken Potpie loaf was born!
Afghan Chicken Potpie Loaf Recipe
3 lbs chicken (thigh, breast, or whole chicken)
2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp crushed garlic
1/4 cup yogurt
2 tsp salt
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp paprika 1 small bag mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, green beans)
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
2 1/2 cups milk, heated
1 box puff pastry sheets
2 tbsp Black seed (nigella seed)
Remove your puff pastry from the freezer to allow it to thaw for 40 minutes
You’re welcome to use chicken breast, thigh, or cook an entire whole chicken, whatever is your preference. I utilize the recipe from my Garlic turmeric yogurt chicken to create the chicken for this dish. If you’re usinf chicken breast or thigh, follow the same instructions here to marinate your chicken. Then bake it in your oven in a glass baking dish for 35 minutes at 400 degrees. https://www.imanistan.com/post/garlic-turmeric-yogurt-chicken-recipe
After your chicken has cooked, set it aside to cool. Once it has thoroughly cooled, add chicken meat into a large bowl. If you’re using the whole chicken, take meat off the bones and add into the bowl. Then using your fingers, pull apart the meat until you have fine shredded pieces
In the meantime, place your mixed vegetables into a pot filled with hot water. Bring to a boil until fully cooked, then strain the water and add cooked mixed vegetables to the bowl of shredded chicken
In another pot, melt your butter. Then slowly add in your flour, mixing well so as to not have any lumps (I like to use a whisk). In the meantime, heat your milk in the microwave. Once heated, slowly add it in to your flour butter mix, and continue to stir the pot constantly. Continue to cook on medium high heat until it becomes a thick creamy sauce. Add in salt I taste, approximately 1 tsp is sufficient.
Add your creamy sauce in to your bowl of chicken and vegetables, mix well until all ingredients are well incorporated
On a large lightly floured surface, remove one of your puff pastry doughs and roll it out into a 9x13 rectangle. Imagine your dough as having 3 vertical sections, and fill the center section with half of your chicken mixture (enough to fill it but not overflow). Then using a knife, cut 1.5 inch thick diagonal lines from the edge of your pastry towards the middle filling, stopping when you get to the edge of the filling. Repeat this on both sides until you have diagonal cuts on the entire length of the pastry
Then starting from left to right, fold dough over the center filling, going back and forth between the two sides. Once completed, seal the ends by pressing the dough upwards on to the braided dough so that no open exposed ends remain
Make an egg wash by placing an egg in a bowl with 1 tbsp of water, mixing well. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over your braided loaf. Then sprinkle evenly across the entire loaf your black seed
Place stuffed loaf on a greased baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on 400 degrees
Remove from oven, cut diagonal pieces and serve. Noshejaan!
This recipe makes two full loaves, so you’re welcome to repeat the steps with the remainder of your chicken mixture and the second puff pastry dough.
See image below for guidance on cutting your dough: