Chicken and rice enveloped in a flaky, crisp phyllo dough crust. This tasty pie can be flavored two ways — one fragrant with spices and slightly sweetened from the addition of raisins; the other savory and tangy with mint and feta cheese. This isn’t an ordinary chicken potpie!
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped (or 2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced)
- 1½–2 pounds cooked, shredded chicken, skin and bones removed
- ¼ cup white, long-grain rice
- ¼–½ cup pine nuts (optional)
- ½ cup water or broth
- 2 eggs
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 pound phyllo pastry. (To cut calories, use an olive oil flavored spray product like Pam between the fill sheets.)
- 1 cup butter, melted, or olive oil
- 2 teaspoons mint
- ½ cup grated feta, hard mizithra, or Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- ½ cup golden raisins
- Heat half of the olive oil in a large skillet.
- Sauté the onions until soft and translucent.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the onions, shredded chicken, and desired flavoring.
- In onion skillet, sauté rice and pine nuts, if using, in remaining olive oil.
- Add ½ cup water or broth.
- Bring to simmer and cook for 15–25 minutes until rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed (Add additional water/broth, if necessary).
- Let rice mixture cool.
- Add cooled rice, beaten eggs, salt and pepper to chicken mixture; combine thoroughly.
To assemble pita:
- Layer ½ phyllo sheets for bottom of pita. (For a crispy bottom crust, sprinkle a light layer of finely ground dry breadcrumbs between every 2–3 sheets of phyllo).
- Do not cut bottom phyllo sheets to pan size; keep sides up.
- Brush butter or olive oil between each layer of phyllo; brush sides.
- Pour in filling; spread evenly.
- Fold phyllo sides over to completely enclose filling.
- Cut remaining ½ phyllo sheets to pan size.
- Continue layering phyllo sheets, brushing butter or olive oil between each layer.
- Brush top of final phyllo sheet with butter to aid browning.
- Trim excess phyllo dough from sides and corners of pan.
- Cut through TOP phyllo layers ONLY; do NOT cut all the way through.
- Bake pita at 350° for 45–60 minutes; pita should be light, golden brown.
- Let cool for at least ½ hour before cutting all the way through.
Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. Refrigerate leftovers.