Chicken, fennel and black olive filo pies
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tamara West
I first tasted these filo pastry pies made with wild rabbit and olives. Of course someone had gone to the trouble of removing all the bones, which is quite a lot of bones. The combination of chicken, slightly salty olives, rosemary and fennel is how I make it at home and it’s pretty close in flavour to the real thing.
|2 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|1 cup||Leek, diced|
|1 cup||Fennel, diced|
|1 tsp||Garlic, grated|
|2||Chicken breasts, 300g, diced|
|¼ cup||White wine|
|1 cup||Chicken stock|
|12||Kalamata olives, with the stone|
|1 tsp||Fresh thyme, chopped|
|1 tsp||Fresh oregano, chopped|
|1 tsp||Fresh rosemary, chopped|
|½ tsp||Fennel seeds|
|¼ tsp||Freshly ground black pepper|
|12 sheets||Filo pastry|
|¼ cup||Butter, melted|
|2 tsp||Black sesame seeds|
- In a large frying pan heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and cook the leek and fennel for 5 minutes without colouring, then add the garlic. Remove from the pan and keep on the side.
- Season the chicken with salt and cook in the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil. Add the vegetables back to the pan. Add the wine and reduce. Then add the stock, olives, fresh herbs, fennel seeds and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Mix cornflour with 1 Tbsp of cold water, add to the chicken and cook for 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely. This can be made in advance and will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Preheat oven to 180C. To shape the pies take one sheet of filo, brush with butter, lay another sheet on top, brush with butter, then lay a third sheet on. Cut it to form a 24cm square.
- Lift the filo and place it over a 12cm tartlet mould, cake ring or cookie cutter. Spoon the cold chicken mix into the centre. Carefully lift the sides of the filo up allowing the mix to drop down into the mould. Shape the pie by gently folding the filo up and pinch it together at the top.
- Brush the top and sides with melted butter, sprinkle over sesame seeds then bake for 10 minutes.
Working with filo
Unroll filo and keep in one neat pile, cover with a clean, dry tea towel to stop it from drying out and cracking. Take just one sheet at a time and work quickly to avoid it drying out. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush with butter.