I'm not a big sugar person. I like sugar in my coffee and tea and that's about it. I am extremely picky and if you offered me a bowl of candy, unless I'm first meeting you and trying to be polite, you'd get this sort of look:
One sweet thing I am a BIG fan of is pie. Berry pie, apple pie, chocolate pie -- ALL THE PIES. And so ends my sugar relationship. (I am unapologetically married to salt.)
But, one thing that is far superior to dessert pie? Meat filled HAND pies.
Or as the Irish call'em pasties.
I could eat them everyday, I love those buttery pasties so much it hurts. So imagine my surprise and thrilled excitement when my Brazilian roommate in college told me she had a recipe for a Brazilian meat pie....
Enter: Torte de Frango AKA Chicken pie.
Enter: Torte de Frango AKA Chicken pie.
Now first off, Brazilian food has it's own unique flavor. It sings the same tune as most South American dishes: Black beans and rice, but then brings in some crazy ideas. There are two dishes I know from my Brazilian roommate in college. One is a delicious black bean and sausage stew I may post sometime only it takes a million years slaving over a hot stove to cook, and then this delightful recipe.
This pie is so different from any pie I've ever made or eaten. Example? It uses 12 TBSP of flour. That's it. No cups. The batter is oily and more liquid-y than pancake batter. It seems like it could never firm up at all, let alone transform into pie. Another thing about this pie is the crazy amount of liquid. It uses 1 1/2 cups of milk, 1 cup of olive oil and 3 eggs. Again, this is for 12 TABLESPOONS OF FLOUR! I was extremely nervous the first time I made it because of that. I re-read the recipe 5 times because I couldn't believe it.
"Those things together do not make pie."
But what came out of the oven was magical. It looked completely different from the cream colored mass of liquid, vegetables and chicken I put in the oven. It was golden brown with specs of carrots (orange) and peas (green) and had the texture of a savory cake... That's the best way I can describe it, a light vegetable and chicken cake that tastes amazing whether its hot out of the oven or cold in the fridge.
This picture doesn't even do it justice.
On the side, I served an awesome salad of mixed greens and a bright, refreshing champagne vinegar salad dressing to go with it. I'll add that recipe too, because it's easy as.... Pie! (HA!)
Then, just before you serve it, shower it with Parmesan cheese.
"Make it rain!"
Here is the recipe that I used as a base, as my roommate moved out and never translated her recipe from Portuguese or.. the metric system.
And here is MY version of Torte de Frango!
Feel free to use as little or as many vegetables as you like, I just tend to throw as many as I can into one dish because COLOR.
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (About two chicken breasts. Either store bought rotisserie chicken, or poached then shredded)
- 1 onion (diced)
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 can tomato sauce (8oz)
- 1/2 cup of frozen peas
- 1/2 cup of frozen corn
- 1/2 cup green or red pepper (diced)
- 1/2 cup carrots (diced)
- Cilantro (Chopped and definitely optional)
- Olive oil for light sautéing
- 12 TBSP flour
- 1 TBSP baking powder
- 2 TBSP parmesan cheese (Fresh is preferred, then extra for topping it at the end)
- 1/2 TSP salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups of milk
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 part champagne vinegar
- 1 part fancy djion mustard
- 2 parts olive oil
- 2 cups of mixed greens
- 1/2 avocado (diced)
- Feta or goat cheese works here (optional)
Torte De Frango
- Preheat oven to 350* and grease 9"x11" baking pan.
- Whisk together all dough ingredients in large bowl. (Seriously, that's it.)
- In a sautee pan over medium heat, sautée onions until translucent.
- Add carrots and bell peppers for a few minutes until slightly soft.
- Add chopped garlic and stir until you can smell it really well but it isn't brown (2 minutes).
- Add peas, corn, tomato sauce and chicken and heat though, then remove from heat.
- Pour half of the dough into the baking pan.
- Top with the chicken mixture and then pour the rest of the dough on top.
- Top with the additional parmesan and slide into the oven.
- You bake it until a toothpick comes out clean and this varies, but typically it's around 45 minutes.
- When you finish, let it cool 5 minutes.
- While the torte is cooling, make the salad.
- Whisk salad dressing together and toss with mixed greens per your specifications. I prefer light dressing.
- Add chopped avocado, salt and pepper to taste and toss again.
- THEN! Slice BIG squares of torte, top with extra parm and serve with your bright spring salad!
The Irishman requests this dish more than any other dish I make, because it is just as good the next day and he can take it to work. He likes it more than my French onion soup, and that is saying something.