Oh my God, you will LOVE this dish! It takes a little bit of time, patience, and dedication, so save it for a very special occasion. My grandma would cook it whenever the whole family would come over for lunch on Sundays. I begged my mom to take me very early to my grandparent’s house so I could help Tata make the most awaited dish; the one and only Pastel de Polvorosa.
Once you bake this, you’ll understand the success of this dish is within its wonderful balance of salty and sweet flavors. It is Venezuela’s unique version of a chicken pot pie. It’s savory tart has a very crumbly, soft pastry crust, more like the French pate sadly pastry than the flaky pie crust you might expect. (The word polvo means powder or dust, and polvoroso means “dusty”).
To prepare the pastry dough:
Place the flour, butter, salt, sugar, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the cold butter and lard into small pieces and add to the bowl. Pulse mixture several times briefly until butter and shortening are in pea-size pieces and mixture is crumbly. (You can also cut the butter and shortening into the flour by hand or with a pastry cutter). Add egg yolks to the mixture. The dough should start to come together. Add the white wine, until you can squeeze a handful of dough together and it sticks into one mass without crumbling apart. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Divide it into 2 portions, one twice as big as the other. Shape the portions into flat disks, wrap with plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
For the filling:
Grate the onion and stir-fry with the smashed garlics. When they become translucent, add the peeled tomatoes, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the chicken, cover and bring to medium heat. After around five minutes, taste for seasonings and add the bay leaf, allspice (or Jamaican pepper), oregano and salt.
Whenever the chicken is ready, turn off the stove and let cool to room temperature. You can now take out the bay leaf and the allspice. Take the chicken out and shred it. Once shredded, add the remaining ingredients.
You can now take the pastry dough out of the fridge and come almost to room temperature. Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Roll out the larger piece of dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper (or parchment paper) into a 15 inch diameter circle. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with the rolled out dough. Roll the second piece of dough into a 10 1/2 inch diameter circle.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill the pastry-lined pan with the chicken filling. Place the second piece of pastry over the top and seal the edges together. Whisk the egg into a small bowl and brush it onto the pastry. Cut a few vent holes in the top of the pastry, and into the oven.
Bake the pastry for 45 minutes to an hour, or until golden brown and heated though. Remove pastry from oven and let cool for 15-20 minutes before removing the springform ring. Serve warm.