Here’s one of my family’s favourite recipes that is going to be ‘made-over’ by the Heart and Stroke Health Check Program in April. Check out their website: www.healthcheck.org
Here is my recipe – that really needs a low fat make-over! Cream, butter, pastry – oh my!
CHICKEN IN PHYLLO PASTRY
3 cups (750 ml) cooked, boneless chicken, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter
1 onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) dried thyme
1/4 cup (60 ml) flour
2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock
1/2 cup (125 ml) 35% cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 – 16 sheets phyllo pastry
1/2 – 1 cup (250 ml) butter, melted
- To make the chicken filling, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook for 5-10 minutes until translucent. Meanwhile, blanch the celery and carrot pieces in boiling water until just tender. Drain and set aside.
- Stir the dried thyme into the onion and butter mixture, then stir in the flour and cook for five minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock, and let cook for about ten minutes, or until the sauce becomes smooth and thick. Finish by stirring in the cream, and letting it simmer for two or three minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cooked chicken, celery, and carrots. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside in refrigerator to cool.
- To assemble the chicken in phyllo, you must first have a large, clear work surface. Have your melted butter and a pastry brush ready. Open the phyllo package and lay out the whole stack of phyllo sheets. Take one sheet off the top, and lay it on your work surface, with the short side closest to you. Cover the sheets that you are not using right now with a slightly damp tea towel. Brush melted butter over the entire surface of the one phyllo sheet. Then, lay another sheet of phyllo on top of the first. Once again, brush with butter. Repeat this two more times, to eventually have a stack of four sheets of phyllo. With a sharp knife, slice this stack of phyllo sheets down the middle, lengthwise. You now have two lengths of phyllo dough. Place a scoop of the cooled chicken filling on the bottom quarter of each length of dough. You are now going to fold this into a triangle shape. Take the bottom right hand corner of the dough and fold it over the chicken filling, to form a triangle. Then, fold from the bottom left corner, lifting the chicken filling along with this fold, and forming another triangle. Keep on folding until you have reached the top of the length of phyllo. It won’t be perfect (at least, mine wasn’t). Place the bundles on a baking sheet, preferably one that is lined with parchment. Brush the tops of each bundle with more melted butter. Set aside, and repeat this procedure until the entire chicken filling has been used.
- Heat the oven to 375° F (190°C). Bake the chicken in phyllo for 20-25 minutes, until the phyllo is golden brown and the filling is piping hot.
- Makes six to eight phyllo bundles.