Spanakopita translates as 'spinach pie' and usually contains feta cheese. Here, Christine has added chicken for an even heartier meal.
- 500 g chicken tenderloins
- olive oil
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 leek, sliced thinly
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 1 bunch English Spinach
- 1½ cup crumbled fetta
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 packet Antoniou Fillo Pastry
- olive oil
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Before you begin this Fillo Pastry recipe, take your Fillo Pastry out of the fridge for at least 2 hours, still in its plastic bag and allow it to come up to room temperature.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Marinate the chicken tenderloins in olive oil, chilli, oregano and coriander. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in a hot frypan until lightly browned on each side – the cooking will be finished off in the oven. Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Over a medium heat, fry the leek in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and cook for a further minute. Transfer to a bowl.
4. Place spinach in a pan and cook until slightly wilted. Transfer to a strainer positioned over a bowl and allow the spinach to drain for at least 10 minutes. Using your hands, squeeze out any excess liquid from the spinach. Add the spinach to the leek mixture. Shred the chicken and add it to the leek and spinach. Add the feta and stir until all the ingredients have been well combined.
5. To assemble the pie, grease a 20-cm cake tin with olive oil.
6. Brush one sheet of Fillo with oil and drape it over the base of the tin, allowing the excess Fillo to hang over the sides. Continue this process, using 10 sheets in total. Oil one sheet of Fillo and scrunch it up into a loose ball. Place it in the base of the tin. Repeat this with one more sheet of Fillo.
7. Spoon the spanakopita mixture on top of the scrunched up Fillo and scatter with pine nuts. Place two more oiled and scrunched up pieces of Fillo on top. Fold the overhanging sheet of Pastry in and over the scrunched Fillo. Brush another sheet of Fillo with oil and drape over the top. Tuck the overhanging Fillo into the sides of the tin using your pastry brush. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top.
8. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and crispy all over. Allow the pie to sit in the tin for 10 minutes before removing the collar and serving.
• Using a springform tin creates beautiful golden colour around the sides of the pie and makes serving easy.
• It is critical to strain the spinach well before combining with the other filling ingredients, to prevent your spanakopita from being soggy.
• Any excess Fillo Pastry should be rolled up, placed back in the plastic bag sealed well and stored in the fridge for later use.
Recipe from Antoniou Fillo Pastry. Photography by Effi Tsoukatos.
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