Savoury Chicken Crostata

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1 hr
Serves: 6

Crostata is an Italian term for a rustic open-faced pie. Often it is made using cornmeal to give it a chewy texture. This particular crostata is delicious at any meal, and is always a crowd pleaser. I especially love making it on a Sunday and taking it to work for lunch. Crostatas are mouth-watering warm, at room temperature or cold. They’ll keep for about three days in the refrigerator wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.



1 3/4 cups (440 mL) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (75 mL) stone-ground cornmeal
1 tsp (5 mL) kosher salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp (30 mL) thyme, fresh, finely-chopped
12 tbsp (180 mL) unsalted butter, cold
2/3 cups (170 mL) water


extra virgin olive oil
2 Spanish onions, peeled, thinly sliced
1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
2 cups (500 mL) baby spinach, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) chicken, cooked, shredded
1/2 cup (125 mL) Greek Feta, crumbled
3 tbsp (45 mL) slivered almonds, toasted
1 tbsp (15 mL) thyme, fresh, finely-chopped


1 In a bowl combine the dry ingredients for the crust including the flour, cornmeal, salt, Parmesan cheese and chopped thyme. Add the butter and using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the mixture until the butter is pea sized. Add the water and stir until the dough comes together in a loose ball.
2 Sprinkle a clean surface with a little flour. Knead the dough on the surface for 6-8 minutes until it comes together in a soft mass. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes in the fridge.
3 Sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with flour and cornmeal. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 14-inch round on the parchment paper. Let the dough rest for another 15 minutes or up to 24 hours in the fridge.
4 Prepare the filling. Start by heating 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the onions and cook slowly until caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
5 When you are ready to assemble the crostata preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Preheat the baking sheet inside the oven.
6 Remove the rolled out crostata dough. Brush the egg and water mixture to make a 3-inch border. In the center, layer the caramelized onions, spinach, chicken, feta and toasted almonds. Sprinkle the top with salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Brush with olive oil.
7 Fold the crostata border over the filling and allowing each fold to gently overlap as your work your way around the border. Finally, lightly brush the outside of the crust with a little more of the egg wash.
8 Carefully slide the crostata and the parchment paper onto the preheated baking sheet. Bake until the crust is golden, about 55 minutes. Let the crostata rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm, room temperature or cold.