Learn how to make the ceremonial pigeon pie from 'Game of Thrones'
For a real taste of Joffrey's gamey pigeon pie, use squab instead of chicken. And be sure to have a sword handy for slicing it.
Servings: Makes one 9" pie
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
1 Fresno chile or red jalapeño, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 sprig thyme
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons raw or light brown sugar
2 1/2 pounds ground pork
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves (optional)
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4-inch strips
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups schmaltz or vegetable shortening
8 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, divided
1 cup dried apricots, chopped, divided
1 large egg
Whole grain mustard, cherry tomatoes, cornichon, pickled onion, stilton cheese, clothbound cheddar (optional; for serving)
A 9-inch springform pan
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften, 5-7 minutes. Stir in chiles, garlic, and thyme, scraping up browned bits, until liquid is evaporated and onion is very soft and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool; set aside until ready to use.
Meanwhile, mix pork, parsley, sage, thyme, mace, allspice, ginger, cloves, if using, 1 Tbsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a large bowl. Chill until ready to use.
Toss chicken with 2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper in another large bowl. Chill until ready to use.
Whisk flour and salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center. Bring schmaltz and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan and immediately pour into well. Mis with a wooden spoon until dough comes together. Using your hands, knead until no lumps of flour remain (dough will seem wet and oily but not sticky; that's okay). Let sit 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°. Place large pieces of parchment, slightly overlapping, on a clean work surface. Transfer dough to parchment. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut off one-third of dough wrap in plastic and cover with a towel to keep warm. Roll out remaining dough to a 17" round. Using parchment, transfer dough to springform pan, lifting up edges to allow dough to slump down into pan. Press evenly into sides and bottom edge of pan. Trim dough, leaving a 1" overhand; reserve scraps for decorating.
Evenly arrange one-third of prosciutto over bottom of crust. Place a clean piece of parchment on work surface. Divide chilled pork mixture into thirds, then roll into balls. Flatten 1 pork ball to an 8" disk. Using parchment, invert pork mixture onto prosciutto. Press down to flatten and cover surface completely (this is key for a cleanly defined visible layer in finished pie). Top with half of the chicken in an even layer, then cover with half of the onion mixture. Top evenly with half of the apricots. Repeat process, starting with prosciutto and ending with apricots. Top apricots with remaining pork mixture and cover with remaining prosciutto.
Place a clean piece of parchment on work surface. Roll out reserved dough to an 11" round. Using parchment, carefully drape round over filling. Trim edges, leaving a 1" overhand. reserve scraps for decorating. Fold overhand of top crust underneath overhand of bottom crust and press to seal. Crimp as desired. Cut 6 slits in the center (forming a star) to vent. Beat egg with 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Brush top crust with egg wash. Roll out scraps to a 1/4" thickness and decorate pie, if desired. Brush decorations with egg wash.
Transfer pan to a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips and bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325° and continue to bake until crust is a deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the pie registers 150° (the temperature will continue to rise after pie comes out of the oven), 2-2 1/2 hours.
Let cool in pan 2 hours. Remove outer ring, then chill pie, uncovered, 8 hours (this will help filling set and makes slicing easier). Transfer to a platter or board. Serve cold or at room temperature with mustard, tomatoes, cornichon, onion, stilton, and clothbound cheddar alongside, if desired.
Do ahead: Pie can be made 3 days ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic and chill.