Chicken Apple Almond Tart



From the story Stylin’ Pie in Niles by Katie Yen

Carolyn Berke, founder of Niles Pie in Union City, California, says, “I use Mary’s air-chilled organic chicken. It has a very nice flavor, but I’ve found it does dry out more quickly than conventional chicken, so take care when cooking. I cut it up into pieces and poach it with herbs and a carrot or two. After cooling and shredding the meat, I return the bones to the pot, adding an onion (skins and all), another carrot, some celery, and some parsley stems to make the stock. If you do this the day before, you’re set.”

1 recipe Quick Whole-Wheat Puff Pastry
1 whole chicken, cooked and shredded
½–1 cup chicken stock
½ cup dry white wine (optional)
2 Mutsu apples, peeled, cored, and thickly diced
1 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
About 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, washed and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil, for sautéing
½ recipe whole-wheat puff pastry (see above)
Egg wash, as above
½ cup sliced almonds to garnish

Roll out puff pastry to a 10-inch circle (as above) and refrigerate while you make the filling.

Sauté the onion in olive oil until softened. Add apples, cinnamon, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Sauté about 5 minutes or until just golden. Add the chicken, ½ cup stock, wine (if using), and honey. Sauté another 5 to 10 minutes to combine. Cool and add the almonds and parsley. Adjust seasonings, adding pepper and more salt to taste. If the filling seems dry, add another ½ cup stock. You want it moist, but not soupy. Allow filling to cool completely before continuing.

Mound filling on the middle of the pastry, leaving at a least 2 inches of border. Fold the pastry up around the filling, crimping the edges. Refrigerate ½ hour, while preheating the oven to 375º. Brush the outside of the pastry with egg wash, sprinkle with the sliced almonds, and bake approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Watch the filling. If it looks dry, cover with foil for the remainder of baking.