Greek-style chicken pie with tahini sauce

Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow
Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow 

This pie goes a long way and can be served as an entrée or a main course with salad. It is based on a traditional Greek-style pie, but with a new look and tangy sauce to give it a lift.

Ingredients

500 g (1 lb 2 oz/3 cups) chopped cooked chicken meat

2 teaspoons dried oregano

125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) extra virgin olive oil, approximately

2 brown onions, chopped

135 g (4¾ oz/⅔ cup) basmati rice

40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) currants, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained

40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) pine nuts, toasted

1 bunch silverbeet (Swiss chard), stems trimmed, leaves washed and chopped

150 g (5½ oz) fresh firm ricotta, drained

8 sheets filo pastry

Tahini sauce

65 g (2¼ oz/¼ cup) tahini

2 tablespoons water

70 g (2½ oz/¼ cup) plain yoghurt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon sumac

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

1. To make the tahini sauce, process all the ingredients in a small food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate.

2. Toss the chicken with the oregano and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a saucepan over low heat and cook the onions, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until soft. Cook the rice in a saucepan of simmering salted water for 10 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water. Combine the onion, rice, currants and pine nuts and season to taste.

4. Cook the silverbeet (still wet from being washed) in a wok over medium heat, stirring occasionally until wilted. Drain, rinse under cold water and then use your hands to squeeze out excess moisture. Combine the silverbeet and ricotta in a bowl and season to taste.

5. Use a pastry brush to brush a 5 cm (2 inch) deep, round 20 cm (8 inch) diameter straight-sided tin with a little of the remaining oil. Keeping the filo pastry under a clean tea towel (dish towel) to prevent it drying out, layer 6 filo sheets around the dish, brushing oil between each and overlapping the sheets to fit the dish and allowing about 10 cm (4 inches) of pastry to overhang the edge.

6. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Spoon half the rice mixture over the pastry. Top with the silverbeet and ricotta mixture, the chicken mixture and the remaining rice mixture. Fold the overhanging pastry over the top of the pie and brush with oil. Fold the remaining 2 sheets of pastry together, brush with oil and scrunch over the pie to create some height, then brush with the remaining oil.

7. Place the pie on a baking tray and bake for 40 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the pie is heated through. Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes before serving. Use a serrated knife to cut wedges of pie and serve with the tahini sauce.

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