Moroccan Chicken Pies

Pies are truly one of my most favourite things to cook and eat. They’re covered in crunchy pastry and filled whatever combination your taste desires. I have the best fun experimenting and find I’m constantly asking myself if a ragu or braise I cooked would taste better in a pie, and more often than not, it does. My kids love them too, in fact they will eat almost anything if it’s wrapped in pastry, so I tend to double the recipe so I can freeze a batch and have dinner ready for a quick mid-week meal when I’m pushed for time after work.  This is my favourite chicken pie of all time. I am yet to find a chicken pie recipe that tops it, and I am fine with that.

SERVES 6
PREP 20 MIN
COOK 75 MIN

What you’ll need:

½ tsp saffron
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1kg skinless boneless chicken thigh fillets
3 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp ground cumin
½ cup chicken stock
½ tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander, plus extra to serve
60g roasted almonds, roughly chopped
¼ cup (30g) icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
250g filo pastry (12 sheets)
100g unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (250g) Greek yoghurt, to serve
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

What to do:

Place the saffron in ¼ cup of warm water and set aside to steep. Heat the oil in a large saucepan fitted with a lid over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the chicken, 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, cumin, chicken stock, salt and the saffron. Stir to combine, cover and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is tender.

Transfer chicken to a plate and shred the meat apart. Return the saucepan to a medium heat and reduce the liquid to about 1 cup. Add the eggs and cook, stirring, until the eggs are set and the mixture resembles scrambled eggs. Add the chicken and coriander and mix well. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 180°C Fan  or 200°C Conventional.

Grease 6 x 10cm springform cake tins.

Place the almonds, icing sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a bowl and mix well to combine. Place a sheet of filo on your workbench and brush it with butter, continue with another 3 layers of filo and butter. Cut the filo sheets down the centre so you have 2 squares. Repeat this process with remaining filo sheets twice more until you have 6 squares in total. Line a square of filo in each cake tin, leaving the pastry edges overhanging. Divide the chicken mixture into the tins and sprinkle with the almond mixture. Fold over the overhanging pastry and brush tops with butter. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and crunchy. Dust the pies with extra icing sugar and serve with yoghurt dusted with cinnamon, and extra coriander.

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