Pi Day: celebrate with a savory dinner pie

March 14 is Pi Day. Serve up a chicken and cheddar savory pie at supper that incorporates the best British traditions with a few Southern flourishes.

The Runaway Spoon
Celebrate Pi Day with a chicken savory pie on a cheddar crust studded with pecans.

The British have a brilliant tradition of savory pies that hasn’t quite translated to the American menu. Sure, we have chicken pot pie and the occasional quiche, but the traditional British pies of flaky pastry double crusts filled with meat and vegetables and rich sauces aren’t too common here. And it’s a shame. Because a savory pie makes a great meal.

Now, I say all of this in praise of the supper pie, not because this is a traditional British style pie. I’ve gone pretty full on Southern here. The crumb crust and topping is reminiscent of our classic cheese straws, while the hearty chicken filling is studded with pecans, green onions and cheese – a few of our favorite things.

I love this pie as a homey dinner served with a lovely salad or a cup of creamy soup, but it also makes a nice brunch dish. The pie is best served warm, but is fine a room temperature for serving on a buffet or making ahead of time.

Chicken and cheddar savory pie
Serves 6

For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
6 Tablespoon vegetable oil

For the filling:
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
a dash of hot sauce (or more to taste)
2 cups cooked chicken breast, diced
2 green onions, finely diced
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped pecans
pecan halves for decoration

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F . Grease a deep 9-inch pie plate or tart pan.

For the crust:

1. Pulse the flour, cheese, pecans, salt and paprika together in the bowl of a food processor until well combined. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil until the mixture is sticky, with the texture of wet sand. Remove 3/4 cups of the crumbs and set aside.

2. Press the remaining crumbs over the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan to form a crust. Make sure there are no gaps. Bake the crust for 10 minutes then leave to cool.

For the filling:

1. Beat the eggs in a bowl, then whisk in the sour cream, chicken broth and mayonnaise until smooth. Add the Worcestershire, salt, pepper and hot sauce and whisk until combined.

2. Fold in the chicken, green onions, cheese and pecans until everything is combined and well coated with the creamy mixture. Spoon the filling into the crust, making sure the chicken is distributed evenly. Sprinkle the reserved 3/4 cup of crumbs evenly across the top of the filling. If you’d like, decoratively arrange some pecan halves on top of the pie.

3. Bake the pie for 50 minutes to one hour minute until the filling is set and the top is golden. Let the pie sit for 5 – 10 minutes before slicing and serving warm.

Related post on The Runaway Spoon: Seriously Fresh Blueberry Pie

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