The Recipe - revised 2012

Greek Chicken Pie


As re-taught to Lindsay Sterling February 2012 in Freeport, ME, by Bill Dilios, from a Greek village, Politsani, just inside the boarder of Albania.

Serves 10 for dinner, 20 as an appetizer or side
Cooking Time: 2 hours

* The day before serving, transfer filo freezer to fridge. 
* An hour before cooking, transfer filo from fridge to counter.
* If you forget to transfer filo to fridge, just stick it on the counter until it thaws completely

1 box phyllo dough
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 large yellow or sweet onions, medium dice
1 stick butter, cut into 1/2" chunks + 1 stick butter
4 chicken breasts, cut into 1/2" cubs
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
3 cups chicken stock
1 boullion cube (Knoll brand preferred) or salt (optional)
3 eggs

1. Make the filling. Saute onions with 2 Tbsp oil and 1 stick butter, cut into chunks, until onions are soft, 5-10 minutes. Add chicken pieces. When chicken is half-cooked add rice and saute for 2 minutes without browning anything. Add chicken stock so that the rice is just floating in liquid, about 3 cups. Add crushed bouillon cube if desired and incorporate. Saute, stirring frequently, until the liquid disappears and you have a thick mass of chicken and rice with no runny liquid. Remove from stove and let cool. Mix in three eggs.

2. Assemble the pie. Preheat oven to 395. Melt a stick of butter in cereal bowl and get a pastry brush out. Bill made one pie in a giant deep dish pizza pan. It made about 20 small squares - 2 per person. Since I don't think anyone has a pan this big, I'm going to suggest you use two casserole dishes or three pie plates. (For smaller pies, I suggest cutting the recipe in half for a single 9x7 baking dish, or dividing the recipe by three and using a pie plate.) Brush the bottom and sides of the baking dish with olive oil. Layer whole filo sheets over bottom of baking dish, overlapping the edges of the pan by roughly 2 inches. (No folding, cutting or fussing -- overlapping is fine). Now be like Jackson Pollock with the butter brush dripping melted butter on the filo. No full coverage or brushing necessary. Just drips, like it's starting to rain. Make another layer of filo overlapping the edges again. Drizzle butter. Layer filo. Drizzle butter. When you have about five layers of phyllo, make a layer of chicken filling about 1/2" inch deep. Cover with two more layers of phyllo/butter drips. Add another layer of filling about 1/2" deep. Do five or six more layers of phyllo. Fold all the draped edges on top of the pie, brush with butter onto the dry edges folding them down.

4. Bake for about 40 minutes, turning the temp down to 385 after ten minutes, until the entire pie is golden brown. Let it cool for 10-20 minutes. Then place a large cutting board (one that is bigger than the pie itself) over the top of the pan, and holding them together, flip them over so that the pan ends up on top of the cutting board upside down. Lift the pan off the pie. (Optional: put another large cutting board on top of the pie and flip the pie, sandwiched between the two cutting boards, over once more. This puts the most beautiful side of the pie facing upwards as you see when you lift the top cutting board off.) Cut pie into squares (a serrated bread knife works well), or wedges, depending on what look you want.

Note: left overs are great for 3 days reheated in the oven or toaster oven.

Copyright Lindsay Sterling 2012