(Greek chicken filo pie)
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Kotopita is one of many types of pítes, or Greek savory pies. Some contain feta, others minced meat, wild greens, zucchini or spinach. This particular pie is made with an herbed chicken filling wrapped in a filo pastry crust.
6 to 8 servings
- Chicken breasts and thighs, boneless and skinless -- 2 pounds
- Stock or stock -- 3 cups
- Salt and pepper -- to season
- Butter, olive oil, or a mixture -- 1/3 cup
- Scallions, chopped -- 5 or 6
- Flour -- 1/3 cup
- Feta cheese, crumbled -- 1 1/2 cups
- Fresh dill, chopped -- 1/4 cup
- Parsley, chopped -- 1/4 cup
- Mint, chopped -- 2 tablespoons
- Nutmeg -- 1 teaspoon
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Eggs, beaten -- 3
- Filo dough -- 12 to 14 sheets
- Melted butter or olive oil -- 1/2 cup
- Place the chicken, stock or water, salt and pepper into a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate, reserving the broth, and set aside to cool. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it with your fingers.
- Heat the butter or oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and saute for about 2 minutes. Stir in the flour, reduce heat to low and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour the reserved broth into the skillet all at once and whisk to eliminate any lumps. Simmer the broth for about 5 minutes to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the feta, dill, parsley, mint, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and the thickened broth and stir together. Adjust seasoning and then stir in the beaten eggs.
- Grease a 9x9-inch baking dish or a deep-dish pie tin. Lay a layer of filo into the dish and brush it with melted butter or olive oil. Add 5 or six more sheets of filo, brushing each with oil or butter and laying them at different angle to cover the dish. Press the filo gently down into the corners of the dish or pie tin.
- Pour the chicken-cheese filling into the dish and spread it out evenly. Lay the remaining layers of filo over the top of the filling, brushing each layer with butter or oil and draping the excess over the edges of the dish. Trim the filo to leave about 1 1/2 inches draping over the edge. Roll the filo edges up toward the center of the dish to form a rolled edge.
- Place the dish in the oven and bake for anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes, or until the center is bubbly and the crust is nicely browned.
- Remove from the oven, cool about 15 minutes and serve with a salad.
- It is not necessary to use all the herbs listed here, but they do add flavor. Substitute a little chopped spinach for some of the herbs if you like.
- Add a little lemon juice or some capers to the filling if you like.
- If the thought of working with filo fills you with horror (it shouldn't), just use a traditional double pie crust or your favorite pot pie topping. It won't be quite so Greek that way though.