This curry chicken pie is full of flavor and topped with a crisp and golden flaky gluten-free crust! Packed with tender chicken and vegetables in a delicious curry sauce, it's comfort food taken up a notch!
Chicken pot pie is definitely a comfort dish.
But I've put a tasty twist on it and made it a curry chicken pie because...why not?
Not only has it got a delicious curry flavor, the golden crisp crust is also gluten-free...but you would never know it!
Making the Pie Crust Dough
The process of making this gluten-free pie crust dough is pretty much identical to how you would make a traditional one. Even though this crust does not use regular wheat flour, it is the perfect combination of almond flour and tapioca starch that makes this crust work. Add in the typical baking powder and some salt and your dry ingredients are done.
Cut in some very cold butter into your almond flour mixture, add a couple tablespoons of ice cold water and blend it with a fork to form your dough and that's it! Shape it into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour, or until you are ready to use it.
Curry Chicken Pie Filling
The filling is made up of chicken (obviously), onions, garlic, carrots, and broccoli. You can certainly substitute the broccoli with other vegetables like peas, green beans, potatoes, or corn.
The delicious gravy that will coat all the ingredients is made up of chicken broth, coconut milk, soy sauce (tamari for gluten-free), fish sauce, curry powder, and black pepper.
To help thicken the gravy so it is not a soupy mess inside the pie, I use tapioca starch to achieve the right consistency. Using tapioca starch instead of all-purpose flour is also what keeps this dish gluten-free (cornstarch also works).
You need cooked chicken for this pie and I pan-fry chicken thighs especially for this dish, using the same pan I fry them in to cook the filling. I also prefer to use chicken thighs instead of breasts because the thigh meat is more forgiving when cooking, and I find it more tender and flavorful.
Five minutes on each side over medium-high heat will be enough to just cook the chicken while also leaving behind some lovely fond, or browned bits, on the bottom of the pan that will add a delicious layer of flavor to the chicken filling. Remove the chicken thighs and shred or chop roughly into bite-sized pieces.
Note: If you already have some pre-cooked chicken in the refrigerator (rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken breasts, etc.) and don't need to cook any chicken to make this dish, go ahead and use that. It will certainly simplify things!
Sweat the onions and carrots in some oil and salt in a skillet over medium heat before adding the garlic and broccoli. Add the curry powder and tapioca starch, making sure all the ingredients are coated before pouring in the mixture of chicken broth, coconut milk, soy sauce, fish sauce, and some ground black pepper. (If you pan-fry chicken thighs, be sure to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan once the liquid has been added.)
Add the cooked chicken to the pan and heat it through before transferring it all to a baking dish. Press down on the filling to flatten it out using the bottom of a spatula or spoon. (You can also make the filling ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to assemble and bake.)
Let the filling cool for 30-45 minutes and it's time for the crust!
How To Lay the Crust
Just as before when making the crust dough, you need to work quickly with this crust so it doesn't warm up too much. The warmer it gets, the more fiddly it will become to handle. However, you can always chill it again in the freezer for a 1-2 minutes to firm it up again enough for you to handle.
Prepare a sheet of parchment paper slightly larger than your baking dish containing the filling and dust generously with tapioca starch. This sheet of parchment paper is going to help you transfer the crust to the top of the pie.
Dust the crust dough and your rolling pin with tapioca starch and roll the dough out until it is just slightly larger than your dish (make sure to dust your rolling pin often so it does not stick to the dough).
Slide your hands under the parchment paper and turn it upside down to lay the crust down on the curry chicken pie filling in your dish so the crust covers it. Starting from one side, gently peel away the parchment paper, leaving the crust on top of the dish. If the crust tears while you are pulling the parchment away, do not panic! Simply use a knife or spatula to gently pull the crust away from the parchment as you continue to peel it away.
For any sections of the crust that are over the baking dish, fold them in and tuck them into the edge of the dish.
This gluten-free crust is a bit more fragile than a regular crust, so it may rip or tear more easily. But don't panic if that happens! Any rips or tears can easily be repaired by pressing the dough back together...or leave them as is...it doesn't have to be perfect! Once it is baked up, you will not notice any imperfections because of how beautiful it will look! You can also make decorative slits in the crust or simply poke a few holes in it with a fork.
Finally, the crust needs a good generous brushing of egg wash. The egg wash is what gives the crust it's beautiful golden color and also helps crisps up that top surface while it bakes.
Transfer the curry chicken pie to a preheated 350F/180C oven and bake for 40 minutes.
I, personally, love this almond flour-based crust, but if you are not on a gluten-free diet and would prefer to go the traditional route, you can substitute the almond flour and tapioca starch with the equivalent amount in all-purpose flour. You can also purchase refrigerated pre-made pie crust dough and use that, too.
However, if you do give this crust a try, you are going to love it and, as I've already mentioned, you won't even realize it's gluten-free!
Substitute the chicken with beef, if you prefer, or make it all vegetables if you want to skip the meat.
Onions and carrots and garlic are considered the aromatics for this dish, but in place of the broccoli, you can substitute it with peas, green beans, potatoes, corn, or similar vegetables.
The coconut milk can be replaced with regular milk or a nut-based milk.
Cornstarch can be used in place of the tapioca starch.
Other Curry Dishes You Might Like
If you love curry like I do, consider some other recipes like Creamy Chicken Pumpkin Curry, Seared Salmon Coconut Curry, Curry Chicken Rice Bake, or my Rich and Creamy Butter Chicken. They're all slightly different in how they're cooked and how they taste, but they're all equally delicious!
This curry chicken pie serves 4-6, depending on if it's eaten alone as an entree and also how hungry everybody is! It is deliciously hearty and a complete meal in one, but it would also go well with a fresh salad! Gather up your favorite salad ingredients and drizzle some Orange Honey Mustard Dressing or a Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette on top. Or whip up a Caesar salad and top it with my Creamy Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing.
If you love chicken pie, you're going to love the delicious curry take on this traditional comfort food. And if you are on a gluten-free diet, you don't have to miss out and you can have your pie and eat it, too!
Curry Chicken Pie
Curry Chicken Filling:
- Cut butter into small chunks and place in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, and salt and mix with a whisk.
- Add the chilled butter to the flour mixture and use a pastry blender, fork, or knives to cut the butter into the flour until the butter is in very small pieces.
- Add 1 tablespoon of iced water to the flour butter mixture and blend with a fork. If the mixture is still too dry, add ½ tablespoon of iced water at a time, mixing after each addition. You should not need to add more than 2 tablespoons. Dough should just come together and not be wet.
- Use your hands to form the dough into a ball and place on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten into a disc and wrap with the plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
If Cooking Chicken For This Dish:
- In a skillet over medium heat, add 1-2 tablespoons neutral flavored oil and add the boneless, skinless chicken thighs to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Flip chicken pieces and cook another 5 minutes.
- Remove chicken from pan and chop into bite-sized chunks or shred. Set aside.
- Combine the chicken broth, coconut milk, tamari (soy sauce), fish sauce, and black pepper in a bowl or measuring cup and whisk well. Set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to the same pan and add the diced onions, diced carrots, and ½ teaspoon salt. Sweat the onions and carrots for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the minced garlic to the onion and carrots and cook 1 minute.
- Add the broccoli to the pan.
- Add the curry powder and tapioca starch to the pan and mix into the onions, carrots, broccoli, and garlic.
- Stir the reserved sauce mixture and add to the pan, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan with your spatula.
- Add cooked chicken to the pan and combine well. Heat through.
- Transfer filling to a deep-dish pie plate or similar sized baking dish. Let cool 30-45 minutes.
Constructing the Chicken Pie:
- Preheat oven 350F/180C.
- Tear a sheet of parchment paper that is slightly larger than your baking dish. Dust with tapioca starch.
- Remove pie crust from fridge, remove plastic wrap, and place on parchment paper. Dust with tapioca starch.
- Dust rolling pin well with tapioca starch and roll crust out to slightly bigger than your baking dish, re-dusting the rolling pin as necessary to prevent sticking. Repair any tears in the crust by pinching/pressing together with your fingers.
- Use the parchment paper to help lay the crust over the filling in the baking dish. Starting from one side, gently pull the parchment paper away from the crust.
- Tuck any crust overhang into the edge of the baking dish. (See Recipe Notes below if your crust tears or breaks.)
- Cut slits into the crust.
- Brush entire crust with egg wash.
- Bake for 45 minutes until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.
- Let cool 30 minutes before serving.
- 5 tablespoons cold butter = 75g
- Use about 1 ½ lbs (680g) of cooked chicken meat if you do not want to cook chicken especially for this dish.
- Adjust the ratio of coconut milk to chicken broth depending on taste.
- Other vegetable substitutions/options are cauliflower, peas, green beans, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, potatoes, corn, zucchini, etc.
- If using potatoes, I would par-cook by boiling them for a few minutes to ensure they will be completely cooked after baking.
- When rolling out the crust, act quickly and handle as little as possible to minimize it warming up too much and falling apart. The crust dough is not as strong as those made with regular flour.
- If your crust tears or rips, simply patch it back together by pressing the pieces together gently with your fingers. This can also be done if the crust is already been laid over the baking dish.
- Alternatively, you can lay random cut pieces of dough over the filling, not worrying about making a perfect crust top.
- Do not worry about the crust being perfect when laying it on the dish...it will look amazing after it is baked!
- Be sure to brush egg wash on the crust to achieve the golden color during baking.
- If you are not gluten-free, you can use a regular wheat pie crust or purchased pie crust dough to use on top of your filling.
- Make individual chicken pies using single portion sized oven-safe dishes. The number of servings depends on the size of your dishes. Top them each with the crust dough.
- The crust dough and filling can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until you are ready to put the dish together.
- You can also make the entire dish and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to bake. If baking straight from the refrigerator, bake for 50 minutes.
- Brush with egg wash right before baking if making ahead.