Chicken Torta with Pistachios and Capers

I’ve been looking forward to making this for a while now, but since it is a teensy bit labor-intensive (and the weather has been way too beautiful to sit inside and cook), it had to wait for this lazy, cool sunday afternoon. I think the best part of this recipe, for me, is that I again overcame my fear of dough and rolling pins. I intend on playing around with the filling (hello summer veggies!), but the crust was perfect, if I do say so myself.

**Update: I just ate this at room temp for lunch and I think I liked it even better this way. The lemon flavor really comes through and compliments the capers well. The pastry is still the bomb.

Chicken Torta with Pistachios and Capers
serves 6 / adapted from this recipe

Here’s what I used:

For the pastry:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • ⅔ cup white wine
  • ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the filling:

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • grated whole nutmeg
  • allspice
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 -1 cup lightly toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp capers, rinsed
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley leaves, lightly chopped
  • Plus, 1 egg, lightly beaten with a little water, to brush over the pastry

Here’s what I did:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and sugar together. Add the lemon zest, wine and olive oil and mix briefly, until it is a sticky ball. On a work surface, knead for about a minute. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest, unrefrigerated, for about an hour.
  2. In the meantime, heat a tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with sugar, salt, pepper, nutmeg, allspice on both sides. Brown them on both sides in the skillet then remove from the pan.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Add the shallot and sauté until soft. Add the chicken back into the pan.
  5. Add the white wine, and let it bubble for a few seconds. Add the chicken broth, lower the heat, cover the skillet, and simmer until just tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and, once cooled, shred the chicken. Add the juices from the pan into a medium sized bowl and add the shredded chicken and the rest of the filling ingredients.
  6. Spray a 9-inch tart pan with olive oil cooking spray. Cut the dough in two pieces, leaving one piece a bit smaller.
  7. Roll out the bigger piece of dough, and drape it into the pan, leaving some overhang. Fill the pan with the chicken mixture.
  8. Roll out the other half, and place it on top, leaving some overhang. Pinch the edges of the dough together, and then trim them all around, more or less neatly. Poke a few air holes in the top, and brush it with the egg wash.
  9. Bake about 40 minutes until the top is be golden brown.
  10. Stick your face in it.
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