Kurnik is a Russian chicken pot pie, made with at least three fillings layered inside the dough. It was the dish of honor at most traditional Russian weddings. The symbolism of ingredients can be appreciated even today.

Kurnik was the traditional Russian wedding pie. Made with chicken, eggs and buckwheat, layered and baked inside a delicate dough — it was the dish of honor.

A display of wealth and prosperity, each ingredient also smothered in deliciously symbolic meaning. Chicken and eggs were thought to bring fertility, while flour and grain provided a solid ground for the couple to build a family.

Kurniks were baked separated for the bride and groom. In the bride’s home, the wedding pie was decorated with small figurines as a nod to a large future family. While the groom’s pie was adorned with flowers as a symbol of a cheerful and happy life.

The layers inside were another testament to a family’s financial status. Wealthier families used buckwheat and mushrooms, as well as fresh eggs and chicken. While those of more modest means used barley or other grains and root vegetables.

To adorn the pie, two types of dough were used — flaky to wrap the pie, and plain (without yeast) to mold into figurines. Blinis separated the layers inside serving as a small barrier to preserve the flavors, and as a symbol of the sun.

We like this tradition and want to share the below recipe with you! Check out what you’ll need and the how to make this rich and flavorful Russian dish.

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Pie Dough

  • 3 cup flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt to taste



  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Salt and sugar to taste


Buckwheat Filling

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tb butter
  • 3 tbsp green parsley chopped


Chicken Filling

  • 1.1 lb chicken meat
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 4 cup chicken broth


Mushroom Filling

  • 0.3 lbs fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp butter


  • Pie Dough
    1) Melt sugar, salt in warm milk, put a half the flour.
    2) Stir very well and add gently add the other half of flour and baking powder. Mix together very quickly.
    3) Add sour cream and melted butter and stir well together. Let rest and chill down for a few minutes.
    4) Divide dough into two parts. One part must be smaller than another one. Roll out the dough into a circle – around 11 inches in diameter and about 1/4 of inch thick.

  • Blini
    1) Make fresh blini dough or use pre-made mix.
    2) Bake thin blinis, layer on top of each other and cover to keep warm.

  • Buckwheat
    1) Use quality buckwheat and follow the cooking instructions.
    2) Chop hard boiled egg and green parsley. Combine with cooked buckwheat, butter and salt and mix well together.
  • Chicken
    1) Chop boiled chicken meat into fine pieces.
    2) In a frying pan add some flour, butter and a bit of chicken broth to make a light gravy.
    3) Add chicken and fry or sautee together for 10 minutes.
  • Mushrooms
    1) Roughly chop mushrooms and sautee in butter for about 5 minutes, adding small amounts of chicken broth.
    2) Take off the heat and let rest.
  • Kurnik
    1) Place a blini into a pie pan and add a layer of chicken meat. Cover with another blini and add mushrooms. Place another blini on top of the mushrooms and add buckwheat mix.
    2) Roll out the second portion of the dough. Make four radial cuts and cover the pie construction with the dough. Pinch the edges of the two rounds and edges.
    3) Make decorative pieces to place on top of the pie. Gloss the the top with egg and make a piercing with a fork to let the steam out.
    4) Bake in preheated oven at 400F for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Makes 6-8 servings.
Prep Time: 40 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes