Creamy, crispy chicken pot pie is the ultimate comfort dish—one bite instantly transports you to piles of fluffy blankets and crackling fires. (Oh, is that just me?) But making and baking one—specifically the crust—is no small task. More of a weekend project than Monday dinner, if you will.
But there’s a way to enjoy savory pies on a weeknight: replace pastry with flatbread and you'll only have to bake your pie for 15 minutes. Cookbook author and chef Olia Hercules learned this simple chicken pie from an Armenian friend while writing her latest book, Kaukasis: A Culinary Journey through Georgia, Azerbaijan & Beyond.
“I love how flatbreads are often used in Caucasus in place of pastry,” she says. “Lavash goes crispy and the sesame seeds, golden. Although it does not have to be strictly lavash—any thin flatbread will do.”
The pie is perfect for leftovers, says Hercules. Underneath the flatbread, leftover chicken transforms into an entirely new dish. The recipe calls for poached chicken, but feel free to use roasted poultry or substitute with slow-cooked lamb or pork.
You can also experiment with the fruit and toppings, too. “I’ve tried it with sunflower and pumpkin seeds and it worked so well,” Hercules says. “And dried cranberries or sour cherries can easily do barbarries’ job.”
The one thing that should stay the same? “Yoghurt for me is essential here, heavy cream would never do.” The fresh yogurt, tart barbarries, and punchy herbs combine into a creamy, yet light sauce—the perfect contrast to crispy flatbread.
- 6 tablespoons (3. oz/100 g) Homemade Matsoni (page 29) or plain yogur
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- pinch of saffron threads (optional)
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried barberries or golden raisins
- 1 cup (7 oz/200 g) poached chicken meat, torn into chunks
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill
- 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
- sea salt flakes
- 1/4 cup (2 oz/50 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 piece Armenian or Persian lavash (or any other large, thin flatbread)
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds (or sesame, pumpkin, or linseed)
Tell us your ultimate comfort food—the one dish that feels like a warm, cuddly hug—in the comments below!