A Colorful Pie, And A Greek Sunny Day
Today I couldn’t bring myself to stay in and write on my pc. Thing is that finally after two months today is a proper Greek sunny day. So I took my notepad and a pen and came down to the beach.
This winter was one of the coldest. In fact, it even snowed after twenty-five years. Well, it wasn’t snow-snow it was more like snowflakes falling and trying to cover the ground. But then the sun would show up and they would disappear. This happened repeatedly twice during that day. It was weird and pretty frustrating. So much for waking up early, to see it’s snowing.
Well, we’re back to normal weather now. Which doesn’t really help me being productive with my blogging. Anyways, what I’ll share with you on this sunny warm day, is a luscious and colorful chicken pie. A Greek chicken pie recipe…
A Dish Destined To Make A Hit
What do you think, is the percentage of people, who don’t like to eat chicken? –Hmm, I’d bet a 20 percent out of all people. And out of those, how many do you think don’t fancy to eat chicken pie. – I’d bet that all people who like chicken would also love a nice piece of a chicken pie. So what I’m trying to say is, that this Greek Chicken Pie Recipe and in fact any chicken pie is a dish that everyone enjoys at least almost everyone 😉
So taking into account my imaginary percentage numbers, chances are that this Chicken Pie is going to make a hit. Either to your kids and family or to your guests. It’s always a safe option of cooking something that everyone is going to enjoy.
The Greek Chicken Pie Recipe
In Greece, we make our chicken pie with phyllo pastry, like we do with most pies. Its filling is very creamy, instead of being runny. Something that I believe suits it the best. What really makes a wonderful pie is for it to be crispy. Having a runny filling, makes any type of pastry become muddy-like. And when you eat a muddy pastry, it gives you the impression of being uncooked. Which is the worst case scenario when making a pie.
As for the other ingredients, no carrots or peas in this recipe. Besides, they kind of remind me of bland hospital food when I see them cooked together with chicken like that (sorry Chicken pot pie fans no offense taken I hope). So instead, I used colorful peppers. You get the sweetness you need, with a stronger flavor that goes perfectly with chicken. Sorry (again), no bacon in this Greek chicken pie recipe. It wouldn’t be Greek. Plus the cream and the pastry contain enough fat for one dish.
As for the pastry, I used homemade phyllo (don’t hate me for choosing the hard way again). It will always be my number one choice for a pie. Because of its taste and crispy texture. And if you learn to make phyllo yourself, I’m sure it will be yours too.
Nothing compares to it. And as always you can use ready-made phyllo pastry instead. It won’t make a pie ”to die for” but rather one you would ”lie for”. You will find more thorough instructions with pictures, for making homemade phyllo here. My pen just started to dry out… Probably trying to tell me to stop writing eventually.
Tool’s you’ll need for this recipe are:
A 9-inch round baking pan. 1-inch smaller or bigger is fine as well. Just make sure it doesn’t exceed the 3 or 4 inches in height because it will be harder to use with the phyllo.
A rolling pin. Preferably a wooden one.
A pastry brush for greasing the phyllo with oil.
I think that’s all. Happy rolling!
For The Filling:
- olive oil
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 1/2 small onion minced
- 1/2 red bell pepper minced
- 1/2 green bell pepper minced
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper minced
- 2 small spring onions minced
- a handfull of fresh parsley
- 5 tablespoons flour or 60 grams
- 450 ml fresh milk
- 40 grams / 1.7 oz Greek kefalotyri cheese or Romano cheese grated
- 1 large egg
For The Phyllo Pastry:
- 200 grams / 7 oz all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 tablespoon vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 100 grams / 3.5 oz tepid water
- 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
For Rolling And Greasing The Phyllo:
- 40 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 40 ml sunflower oil
- extra flour for dusting
For The Filling:
- Heat a good splash of olive oil in a pan over high heat.
- Cook the chicken breasts for about 7-10 minutes.
- Set aside the chicken breasts and let them cool down a bit. Coarsely chop them into pieces.
- In the same frying pan (which contains all the chicken flavor) add the onion and a bit of olive oil if needed.
- Caramelize the onion. Add the peppers and spring onion and cook for a minute or two until they soften slightly.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the 5 tablespoons of flour. Give it a good stir and pour in the milk. Scrape the bottom of the pan from any excess flour. Stir a few times until you have a thick creamy filling.
- Remove from heat and stir in the egg. Add the parsley, chicken, and cheese. Set aside.
For The Phyllo:
- In a medium-sized bowl mix the flour, with the salt, vinegar, water and olive oil.
- Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes. You should have a dough soft and sticky. Without leaving any fragments on your hands though. If not, dust in a bit more flour or water as needed.
- Set aside and let it rest for 15-20 minutes, covered with a dampened tea towel.
- Mix the olive oil, with the sunflower oil that is for greasing the phyllo, in a small bowl and keep it next to you. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.
- Dust your working surface with flour. Take the first dough piece in your hands and shape it into a ball. Then flatten the ball into a disk shape. Place it on your working surface. Dust it with plenty of flour on top.
- Start rolling it open (towards one direction, up or down). Once the dough starts to feel sticky, pick it up, dust the surface with flour again, and flip the dough. Dust the dough with flour on top as well, and start rolling it again. Repeat process until you have a big enough phyllo to add to your pan.
- Grease a round 9-inch baking pan, with plenty of the oil mixture. Add the first phyllo in the pan, and grease the phyllo as well.
- Add another phyllo and add the filling.
- Preheat oven to 220°C / 428°F.
- Add 2 more phyllo layers with plenty of oil in between.
- Cut off any excess phyllo that hangs out of the pan. Close the pie by turning the cut phyllo edges inwards, to create a nice pie edge.
- Grease the top of the pie with the oil, and prick a few times with a knife.
- Bake for about 35 minutes. Shake the pan to see if the pie is ready. If it feels sticky to the bottom bake for a few more minutes.
- Let it cool down for about 30 minutes before cutting and serving.
- Cut to 8 pieces and serve.