I love to find different ways to make dinner. I really like when I can find a way to make a different dinner easy. This dish is a wonderful example of just that. Taking a simple chicken pie and making it even better by changing the spice palate.
So what’s sumac? It’s a spice ground from a red berry of the sumac bush native to the middle east. It was widely used before the lemon to give food that tart acidic flavor. I like it because it doesn’t increase the liquid amount in my pie and the tartness is not as strong so its easier to control. Look for it at your health food store or Mediterranean market.
I like to cook the mushrooms over high heat to drive off the moisture and let them brown. Then saute the onion and peppers. Add grilled chicken, sumac and sunflower seeds. Make the sauce with a splash of chicken stock with a bit of thickener, stir in and cook for just a couple of minutes. Throw it all in a pie with a bit of feta cheese and bake to let it finish getting “friendly”. My family loved it and gives it a 9 out of 10.
olive oil, as needed
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper (or 1 cup of sweet peppers), chopped
2 cups of chopped grilled chicken (deli chicken works too!)
1/4 cup ground sumac
1 tsp dried oregano (greek or mexican work best)
salt and pepper, to taste
2/3 cup chicken stock + 1 Tbs corn starch
1 cup roasted sunflower seeds (optional)
bread crumbs, as needed (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup feta cheese ( or other crumbly tangy cheese)
2 pie crusts [yes I use store bought crusts-I have very few redeeming qualities 🙂 ]
1 egg yolk + 1 Tbs water
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Roll out your bottom pie crust into a 9 in pie plate.
In a large skillet over high heat, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and immediately add your sliced mushrooms. Let them cook with minimal stirring in order to drive off the moisture and allow browning (this is so worth it). Once the moisture is gone and your have some nice browning reduce the temperature and remove the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside. Add a bit more oil and toss in the onions and peppers. Stir and let them pick up the brown bits left from the mushrooms. Let the onions become soft and translucent-about 10 minutes. Add your chicken, sumac and oregano. Return the mushrooms to the pan. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes. Taste-add salt and pepper as desired (remember the cheese will add more salt later).
Combine the chicken stock and corn starch. Stir until no lumps remain. Add to the pan and allow to cook for a couple of minutes until thickened. Stir in sunflower seeds if using. Turn off heat.
Sprinkle bottom of crust with bread crumbs. Add half of the chicken mixture, top with half of the feta cheese. Repeat with remaining chicken and cheese. Place top crust over filling. Fold under the top crust and crimp with a fork.
In a small bowl, whisk egg and water together with a fork. Brush mixture over the top crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes until top is golden. Remove and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with a green salad. Enjoy!