Kurnik (Chicken and Rice Pie)

READY IN: 5hrs
SERVES: 9-12
YIELD: 1 9x12




  • Pie Crust:
  • In a large, chilled bowl, combine the butter, shortening, flour and salt.
  • Working quickly, rub the flour and shortening together using your fingertips until it looks like flakes of coarse meal.
  • Pour 7 tbsp of ice water over the mixture all at once, toss together lightly and gather the dough into a ball.
  • If it crumbles add up to 3 more tbsp of ice water by drops until the dough sticks to itself.
  • Dust the dough lightly with flour and wrap in wax paper.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm.
  • Chicken Stock:
  • In a heavy 6-8 quart casserole dish, combine the onions, celery, garlic, peppercorns, cloves, bay leaf, salt, chicken and giblets, and pour in enough water to cover the chicken by about an inch.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off all of the foam and scum as it rises to the surface.
  • Then reduce to low heat and simmer partially covered for 1 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is tender, but not falling apart.
  • Transfer the chicken to a large platter, and strain the stock through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing down hard with a spoon on the herbs and vegetables before discarding them.
  • Set the stock aside.
  • Filling:
  • With a small, sharp knife, remove the skin from the chicken and cut the meat away from the bones, cutting the meat into 1" pieces and return them to the casserole dish.
  • In a 10-12" skillet, melt 4 tbsp of butter over high heat, and add the mushrooms.
  • Reduce to medium heat and cook 3-5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft.
  • Transfer them to the casserole dish with a slotted spoon.
  • Add the parsley, lemon juice, nutmeg, cream and 1/2 cup of the chicken stock.
  • Stir thoroughly, taste for seasoning, and set aside.
  • In a saucepan, combine the rice with 2 cups of the chicken stock, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Then cover the pan, lower the heat, and simmer for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.
  • Set aside, away from heat.
  • In a large skillet, melt the remaining 4 tbsp butter over high heat, and add the onions.
  • Lower the heat, and cook until the onions are soft and golden.
  • Stir the onions into the rice, and toss until they are well mixed.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the eggs with the dill.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • With a pastry brush and the 2 tbsp of softened butter, lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 2" deep 9x12" baking dish.
  • Spread 1/3 of the rice mixture on the bottom of the dish and cover with 1/2 of the chicken mixture.
  • Top the chicken with 1/2 the egg mixture and repeat the layers, ending with the last of the rice.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough in to 1/8" thick rectangle (about 10x14").
  • Drape the dough over the rolling pin, lift it up and unfold it slackly over the pan.
  • Firmly press the edges of the crust against the sides of the dish, pinching the edges to seal them.
  • With a small, sharp knife, cut out a 1" circle from the middle of the dough.
  • Brush the crust with the cream and yolk mixture and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 30-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
  • Serve immediately.