Chicken Pot Pie Goes to India

Last night's dinner turned out to be one of those happy flukes. I had leftover butter chicken and no basmati rice to eat it with, so I decided to make this chicken pot pie with a twist.

Considering the fact that the curry is fairly rich (how could it not be, given its name), the usual pie crust pastry seemed a little over-the-top. Topping it with some phyllo pastry instead makes a lighter crust. The thing I love about phyllo is that it bakes really light and crispy, and contrary to what is written in many recipes, you don't have to brush each layer with melted butter to get flakiness. It is a little more work to layer each paper thin sheet, but the end result is delicate layers without the heaviness of shortcrust/pie pastry, or the grease of puff pastry.

There's no actual recipe for this, but the general idea is:
-Fill an oven-proof dish with curry chicken
-Tear a sheet of thawed phyllo pastry so that it extends about 1" over the sides of the dish
-Lightly scrunch and place on top of curry
-Repeat with 3 more layers of phyllo dough. Brush between the layers with melted butter if desired.
-Brush top layer of phyllo with melted butter (for browning)
-Bake in a 375F oven for 20 minutes

Served with some sauteed spinach and naan bread, this experiment was a success. Not entirely surprising though because what wouldn't taste good with a pastry crust on top?

Image: Property of beets and bites

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