Gooey Chicken, Brie and Cranberry Pies 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Oct 29, 2014

A buttery, flaky crust that takes minutes to put together elevates these four-bite portions, so it's best not to opt for a store-bought pie dough shortcut.

You'll need a 4-inch round cookie cutter, or a template of that size.

Keep this recipe in mind for when you have Thanksgiving leftovers.

Make Ahead: The dough can be refrigerated from 30 minutes to 3 days. The baked pies can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat in a low-temperature oven.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • For the crust
  • 3 cups flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) chilled, unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large egg yolks, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
  • For the filling
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces chicken tenderloins
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch ground thyme, or spice of your choice
  • 1/3 cup whole-cranberry sauce
  • 3/4 ounce baby spinach leaves (2 good-size handfuls)
  • 2 ounces chilled brie cheese, thinly sliced


For the crust: Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Use your clean fingertips to work in the butter and egg yolks so the mixture is in small crumbles, then add just enough of the ice water to form a dough that barely holds together. Knead it (in the bowl) until smooth.

Divide the dough in half; wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.

For the filling: Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Season the chicken all over with the salt, pepper and ground thyme or spice of your choice. Add to the pan and cook for a few minutes on both sides, until just cooked through and lightly browned. Transfer to a plate to cool completely, then cut the chicken on the diagonal into 1/4-inch slices.

When ready to bake, take half of the dough out of the refrigerator to rest on the counter for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Lightly flour a work surface. Unwrap the dough and roll it out to the thickness of a pie crust. Use the cookie cutter to cut out 4 rounds; reroll the scraps as needed. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough in the refrigerator, including the 10-minute rest.

Arrange 4 rounds on the baking sheet, spaced well apart. Divide the cranberry sauce among them, spooning it to leave a 1/2-inch margin all around. Layer, in order: a few spinach leaves (enough to cover the sauce), the chicken and the brie.

Use the remaining lightly beaten egg to brush the margins of dough around each pile of filling.

Use your fingers to gently stretch the remaining 4 rounds of dough so they are slightly wider than the first 4; cover each portion with one of those rounds. Use the tines of a fork to press/secure the top to the bottom dough. Cut a small slit at the top of each pie, then brush each pie with what's left of the beaten egg (you might not need all of it).

Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Pocket Pies: Mini Empanadas, Pasties, Turnovers & More," by Pamela Clark (Sterling, 2014).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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