Salmon Coulibiac Potpie

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Try this Russian classic for your fanciest party. The baking dish holds a mounded filling of poached salmon, mushrooms, and hard-boiled eggs, covered with a flaky sour cream crust. Since this crust is decorated with strips of dough, the recipe calls for preparing extra dough. The seasonings of fresh dill and lemon make this a perfect choice for a spring celebration. The filling is made by cooking the salmon in simmering water, cooking rice in chicken broth, and cooking the onion and mushrooms lightly in butter. Once this is done, all of the filling ingredients are mixed together and the filling is ready for its crust topping and baking.

Cooking Methodbaking, poaching


Total Timeunder 4 hours

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Equipmentbaking/gratin dish


Taste and Texturecreamy, herby, savory, tangy

Type of Dishsavory/pot pie


  • 2 pounds salmon fillet
  • ¼ cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
  • ¼ medium onion sliced
  • ½ lemon quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¾ cup chicken broth (low sodium if canned)
  • ¾ cup long-grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ pound mushrooms chopped coarsely (white or cremini preferred)
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions (2 medium)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed finely chopped fresh dill
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ recipes Extremely Flaky Sour Cream Crust
  • 1 large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons heavywhipping cream for egg wash
  • 1 cup sour cream mixed with ¼ cup chopped fresh dill for serving (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and mixed with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill for serving (optional)


  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Have ready a 9 or 10 by 2-inch round baking dish or a 10-inch glass pie dish that is 2 inches deep.

  2. Fill a nonreactive 3-quart or larger pot, preferably with an oval shape, with enough water to cover the salmon. Heat the water until it is simmering gently. You will see small bubbles. Add the wine, sliced onion, lemon, bay leaf, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Carefully put the salmon in the water. Cover tightly and cook for about 15 minutes, keeping the liquid at a low simmer (tiny bubbles) until the salmon is firm to the touch and no longer soft in the center at its thickest point. The cooked fish should be an even light pink all the way through. Use a fork to flake a piece off from the center to check that it is done, if necessary. Put the fish on a platter and remove any skin and discard it. Let the salmon cool slightly, then use a fork to flake the salmon into pieces about ½ to ¾ inch in size, removing any pinbones as you go. Meanwhile, cook the rice.

  3. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the remaining ½, teaspoon of salt and the rice, reduce the heat to low, cover tightly, and cook until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

  4. In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat until it just begins to bubble. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft and their moisture has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Remove the mushrooms to a large bowl. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, add the 2 cups chopped onions, and cook until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add them to the mushrooms in the bowl.

  5. Add the flaked salmon, rice, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill, and chopped eggs to the mushrooms and onions in the bowl and stir them together. Season with pepper. Spoon the filling into the baking dish, mounding it toward the center to make a rounded hill shape.

  6. Lightly flour the rolling surface and rolling pin. Take two-thirds of the crust dough (1 recipe) and roll it to a shape that is 1 inch larger than the top of the baking dish. Roll the crust around the rolling pin and unroll it over the top of the baking dish. Let it hang over the edges of the dish while you roll out the remainder of the dough for the lattice decoration. Use a pastry brush to brush the top of the dough lightly with the egg wash.

  7. Roll the remaining dough (½ recipe) into a rectangle that measures about 5 by 12 inches. Cut 10 strips 12 inches long and ½ inch wide. Using a long, thin metal spatula to help lift the dough, and beginning 1 inch from the edge of the baking dish, place 5 dough strips evenly over the crust. Turn the baking dish a 1/8 revolution. Spacing them about 1½ inches apart, place the remaining 5 dough strips over the crust. Trim the strips even with the outer edge of the crust. The strips will form a crisscrossing diamond pattern.

  8. Fold the dough hanging over the edge of the crust toward the inside of the crust, pressing it firmly onto the edge of the baking dish to seal the dough strips under the crust and make a smooth edge. Gently brush the dough strips with the egg wash. Cut a small hole in the center of the dough to let steam escape.

  9. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned and the filling is hot. Use a large knife to cut wedges and a wide spatula or pancake turner to lift the filling with its crust from the baking dish. Pass the cold sour cream and dill sauce or the lemon butter dill sauce, or both, to spoon over the potpie, if desired.


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