Monday, October 5, 2009

Once upon a time there was... Chicken and Apricot Phyllo Pie

On Monday, Cal and I had off of our day jobs, so we decided to make something complicated. When I think of complicated, I think of phyllo pastry dough. And when I think of phyllo pastry dough, i think of the ghost petit fours I tried (and failed) to make for Halloween one year. Since then, we've improved our phyllo skills, so we've decided to attempt Chicken and Apricot Phyllo Pie from our Mediterranean Food of the Sun cookbook. This recipe took 2 hours to make, including a solid 45 min of prep work, so consider yourselves warned Castle Farm Cookbook blog readers - this recipe is a project!

Cornelius' Note: on our first trip to Wegmans we could not find Bulgur Wheat. We later disovered that Taboule (pictured below) is bulgur wheat in disguise. Even if you are tempted to use something else, we recommend sticking with the b.w. because it really just takes on the flavor of the rest of the dish.

Another Cornelius' Note: Considering how much stuff has to be chopped, minced, diced, and otherwise made smaller, we recommend doing all of that before you begin, not as you go. See pic below of us exhausted from all that work.

1 lb chicken, minced
1 onion, diced
3 oz (1/2 c) bulgur wheat
3 oz dried apricot, diced
1 oz (1/4 c) almonds, chopped
2 oz (1/4 c) greek yogurt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 Tbsp fresh chives
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
salt, pepper
6 Tbsp butter
10 sheets phyllo pastry dough


1. put bulgur wheat in 1 c hot water. set aside until all water is absorbed, about 15 min.

2. melt 2 Tbsp butter. Add chicken and onion. Cook until golden brown.

3. add bulgur what, apricot, and almonds to the pan. cook 2 min.

4. remove from heat. stir in yogurt, cinnamon, chives, parsley, and salt/pepper to taste.

5. preheat oven to 400.

6. Melt remaining 4 Tbsp butter.

Cornelius' Tip: Phyllo is tricky. Make sure to follow package thawing instructions. Remove 10 sheets from package and cover with clean, damp towel. As you use the phyllo, be sure to keep the remainder covered - it hardens and cracks easily.

7. Cut the phyllo into 10" circles. We used a bowl and a pearing knife.

8. Place a sheet of the phyllo into the bottom of a round 9" tin. Brush melted butter over dough. repeat with 2 more slices.

9. pour chicken mixture into pan.

10. layer 3 more sheets of phyllo on top of chicken, buttering with each sheet.

11. crumple remaining sheets of phyllo on the top of the pan and drizzle rest of butter on top.

12. Bake 30 min or until golden. Cool on wire rack.

Despite all the time, Cal and I definitely think this dish was worth the effort! It had a very unique, yummy flavor (and looks pretty impressive too!) When we reheated it to eat more, we were sad that the phyllo crust lost its crispiness. The flavor was still very nice but we recommend eating the entire pie at once. After spending 2+ hours making it, this should not be difficult. We also made some pita and dip to go with it (coming soon!).

Once again, the recipe is from Mediterranean Food of the Sun cookbook, by Jacqueline Clark and Joanna Farrow.

Pig, out.

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