I love a good roast chicken, preferably homemade but I’m totally not above a grocery store rotisserie birdie on a weeknight. I love to pick at the carcass like that guy from Amelie, and I always go for the oysters. And one of the best things about roast chicken is all the leftover meat to make delicious things out of. This pie is quick and simple (yes, even with the phyllo), and the warm cinnamon takes it a step out of the ordinary while still remaining immensely comforting.
I’ve been on a little phyllo kick lately. I decided to overcome my assumption that phyllo is just too complicated, because really, we make pretty much every other complicated thing out there, so why not this too? You need a big smooth space to work on (I use a double-wide Silpat, which is a very handy thing to have around) and a basting brush, but that’s about it. If your phyllo is cracked, like mine was, just get creative – it’s deliberately messy!
Greek Chicken Pie (Kotopita)
adapted from Kokkari
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 10 sheets frozen phyllo, thawed
In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until well softened, 10-12 minutes. Add the cinnamon and stir for another minute or two. Transfer to a large bowl and add the chicken, stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Put the remaining 3 tbsp of olive oil in a bowl. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9” x 13” baking dish with oil. (I used a pie plate instead, because I had a little less chicken. I laid 4 sheets out over the plate with plenty of overhang, then just folded them over the filling and somewhat artfully crumpled them.)
Stack the phyllo sheets on a work surface and trim them so they measure about 10” x 14”, a little bigger than the dish on all sides. Layer 5 sheets in the bottom of the dish, brushing each layer with olive oil. Spread the chicken filling in an even layer, then top with the remaining 5 sheets of phyllo, brushing each layer with olive oil.
With a sharp knife, cut the pie into 15 squares. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown and crisp, about 45 minutes. Serve warm, not hot.
Incidentally, the whole time I was making and eating this, all I could think about was Chicken Run, which is a great movie if you haven’t seen it. The villain has this gnarly, sour voice and the way she says “Mrs. Tweedy’s Chicken Pies” has been stuck in my head for the last two days. I guess this is Mrs. Young’s Chicken Pie? (Stop squeeeing, mom.)