Naxos style chicken pie with rice, spices, raisins and Greek cheeses

Naxos Chicken Phyllo Pie


This filling chicken phyllo pie is inspired from a traditional dish of Naxos, one of the Cyclades islands. To find some of the artisinal Greek products you'll need to make this, visit my online shop here, where you'll discover a host of lovingly curated Greek ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin Greek olive oil plus more for brushing the phyllo
  • 1 leek trimmed and chopped
  • 1 lb/455 g commercial phyllo defrosted overnight in the fridge and brought to room temperature
  • 3 cups/720 ml chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup/100 g long-grain rice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup/100 g golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup/70 g pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup/75g blanched almonds
  • 9 oz/255 g kefalotyri cheese grated
  • 9 oz/255 g graviera cheese grated
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat, and sauté the leek until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Season with a little salt.
  2. Pour 1 1/2 cups/360 ml of the chicken broth into a medium pot, add the rice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the rice about halfway. It will have absorbed all the broth. Transfer the rice to a large bowl and add the shredded chicken, spices, raisins, pine nuts, almonds, and cheeses and season with salt and pepper. Stir in another 1/2 cup of broth. Mix in the sautéed leeks.
  3. Lightly oil a large 10 x 13 x 2-in/25 x 33 x 5-cm baking pan/tin and preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C (gas mark 4). Layer 5 phyllo sheets on the bottom of the pan, brushing each one with olive oil. Spread the filling evenly over the top and cover with 4 more sheets, brushing each one with olive oil. Press the layers down lightly with the palms of your hands. Trim the edges with a sharp paring knife to make the rim neat. Score the pie into serving pieces and bake for about 50 minutes, or until golden. Remove, let cool, and serve either warm or at room temperature.

Notes

You can cook and shred your own chicken and make your own broth by simmering a 3-pound / 1.5-kilo bird in water with 1 whole onion, 2 carrots, 3 bay leaves, 1 handful of thyme sprigs, leek greens, and 4 celery stalks. Once cooked, remove the bird and let cool before shredding. Strain and simmer the broth with a little salt and pepper for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from heat and use for rice and pie.

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