Monday, April 14, 2014

Stacked Crepes with Ginger Chicken Filling and a Coconut Sauce

Chatti Pathiri {Daring Cooks Challenge}

The April Daring Cooks Challenge was brought to us by Joanna from What's On The List. She taught us all about Pathiri and challenged us to create our own version of this inspirational Indian dish!

It has been almost a year since I have cooked with the Daring Cooks, so I took some time to catch up  with this active group, skimming many month's worth of challenges and enjoying a gazillion posts. Back in the kitchen after surgery in March, I had weeks to think about this month's topic, Pathiri, and consider my own version. With some interesting ingredients to play with - Crepes - spices - chicken filling - coconut sauce - I thought, oh yes, this would be fun!

I'm familiar with the stacked enchiladas of West Texas and New Mexico, I've made both savory and sweet versions of southern Italian stacked crespelle, but stacked pseudo Pan-Asian crepes would be a new treat. 

Chicken and crepes can be bland, but the hefty dose of ginger plus some garam masala, garlic and ground coriander popped up the flavor nicely. 

Photo: Fresh ginger seasons the minced, cooked chicken

Coconut milk added subtle sweetness. Green onions and kale provided both color and flavor bite. Pine nuts added a necessary crunch, rescuing what might have been a boring, too-soft mouthful. 

Photo: Pine nuts, green onions and kale add bite and crunch

The delicious result was an example of the total being greater than the sum of the parts (or however that saying goes). Three of us loved this dish for lunch, and H. cheerfully took the leftovers home... now that's a sign of success.

Photo: Filling scattered on top of the first crepe

Photo: 12 crepes stacked, filled and ready for the oven

Photo: Filled, stacked savory crepe cake fresh from the oven

Photo: 12 layered crepes in this stack - go ahead, count them.

Stacked Crepes with Ginger Chicken Filling

serves 4 as an entree, 8 as a first course

For the crepes: 
3 large eggs
3/4 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 Tablespoons melted, unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
additional butter for the crepe pan

1.  Use a blender or food processor to whirl the eggs, flour and milk until smooth. Scrape down the sides as necessary. You can whisk it by hand, but it is very tedious that way.
2.  Choose a crepe pan or flat-bottomed frying pan and prewarm it over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot brush the bottom lightly with melted butter.
3.  Before the butter browns pour a premeasured amount of batter into the hot pan; quickly tilt and swirl to coat the bottom. An 8-inch pan will handle 3 1/2 to 4 tablespoons of batter per crepe.
4.  Cook until the edge is lightly browned and the surface looks dry, roughly 30 to 60 seconds.
5.  Run a wide metal spatula under the crepe’s edge and shake the pan a bit to make sure that the crepe is loose. Use the spatula to turn the crepe over and brown it lightly on the second side, about 10 to 15 seconds. Slide the crepe onto a flat plate, or tip the pan to release the crepe.
6.  Repeat with the remaining batter, stacking crepes on top of each other, separated with waxed paper, as you finish each.

For the filling:
1 large chicken breast; poached, cooled & minced
3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 cups shitake mushrooms; soaked, drained, chopped
8 green onions, white & green parts, minced
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 large leaf kale, stemmed and minced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

Use a fork and mash the ginger into the cooked, minced chicken. Add the remaining ingredients and mix lightly to combine. Set aside.

 For the sauce:
1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup ground almonds or almond meal
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon coriander

(Plus 2 teaspoons melted butter for the assembly process.)
Lime wedges, optional 

Whisk lightly all ingredients, coconut milk through coriander, until well combined. Set aside.

To assemble:

  1. Brush 1 teaspoon melted butter on the bottom of a non-stick 8-inch skillet. 
  2. With a second brush, coat both sides of a prepared crepe and lay flat on the skillet. Scatter 1/4 cup filling on the top of the coated crepe. Coat both sides of another crepe with sauce and lay flat atop the filling atop the first crepe. Repeat until you run out of filling and crepes, ending with a coated crepe. I used 12 crepes in all.
  3. Brush the top crepe and any exposed edges around the perimeter with the remaining butter. (I'll skip this step next time) Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the stacked crepes (note, some will run down the sides and pool at the bottom).
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until the sauce is absorbed,or thickens considerably. This took 35 minutes in my oven.
  5. Remove from the oven. Place a large serving platter or dish over the top of the skillet and invert quickly and carefully. Slice into wedges and serve immediately with a slice of lime. (OR chill and serve cold.) 


  1. That's so true that crepes with chicken can be bland! I spiced my pathiri with so much spices and seasoning and, anyway, it was pretty mild tasting. That's why I topped it additionally with curry leaves powder. I really like your choice for filling, being vegetarian it sounds very good to me. Your Chatti Pathiri looks very good!

  2. I love the flavors you added to your pathiri, it sounds divine!
    Thanks for your lovely comment on mine. Yours does look gorgeous!
    Hope you're recovering fast and glad you're back to the fun. I missed quite a few challenges myself, also trying to catch up.

  3. G'day! Thank you SOooooooooooooooooooooooo much for joining this month's challenge and am very glad to see you back at The Daring Kitchen after all that time!
    Your pathiri looks fantastic and wish I could come through the screen right now!
    You should feel VERY proud of yourself and please accept a hugs and congrats from me!
    Cheers! Joanne

  4. I love your savory filling additions to spice up the chicken. And the result looks great. Now I want to try other types of crepes cakes, as the crespelle and the stacked enchaladas, all new to me.

  5. What fun we always have in the kitchen! Leftovers Report: this dish tastes fantastic right out of the refer!

  6. Glad you made it this month. Love your filling with the pine nuts. I'm sure it tasted great!


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