Kurnik (Russian Chicken Pie) Recipe – Russian Special

This recipe for russian chicken pie or kurnik is made with chicken, rice, hard-cooked eggs, mushrooms, and a flaky crust. It is often served at holidays, especially easter. Kurnik varies from family to family. It can be made with two crusts or just a top crust; some recipes call for blini-like pancakes to separate the layers of ingredients; it can be round or rectangular in shape; and when it comes to the crust, well, anything goes. It can be made with pie dough, savory pastry dough, or puff pastry. We chose a food-processor cream cheese pastry crust from norene gilletz’s the new food processor bible: 30th anniversary edition (whitecap books, 2011), reprinted here with permission. Her recipe has become a new go-to pastry for koaczki and hamantaschen, and the dough can be made sweet by adding 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • Prep Time30 min
  • Cook Time30 min
  • Total Time1 hr

Kurnik (Russian Chicken Pie) Ingredients :

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups water, or chicken broth
  • 1 cup rice, rinsed
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 large hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water

How To Make Pashka (Russian Easter Dessert)


Bring 2 cups water or chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. If using water, add salt.


Stir in rinsed and drained rice. Return to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender.


Uncover, fluff with a fork and remove from heat.


Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet. Add onions and mushrooms, and sauté until onions are tender and somewhat caramelized.


Stir cornstarch into half-and-half and add to onions along with 1 cup chicken broth, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute.


Add chicken, parsley, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat.


In a medium bowl, mix the hard-cooked eggs with the dill, and set aside.


Heat oven to 400 F.


Spread 1/3 of the cooked rice into the bottom of the ungreased pan then layer 1/2 of the chicken mixture and 1/2 of the egg-dill mixture. Spread on another 1/3 of the rice, the rest of the chicken mixture and the rest of the egg-dill mixture. Spread on the remaining rice.


Place rolled-out pastry crust on top. Turn the edges of overhanging pastry to the inside. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and water and brush the pastry with the egg wash.


Using the back of a fork, make decorative crisscross marks all over. Cut a slit in the center for an air vent. Alternatively, you can make fancy leaves or bird shapes out of leftover pastry dough to decorate the top.


Place dish on a baking sheet to catch any drips, and bake 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes:

If using chicken, you can use rotisserie chicken, boiled chicken, or canned chicken.
If boiling your own chicken, save the boiling water to cook the rice for added flavor.