Thursday, October 7, 2010
Paraskevopita - Chicken FridayPie
Few years ago (many years ago?) both me and Stratis were still living in Thessaloniki. He was renting an apartment together with his brother and I was sort of constant visitor :P There were some days we were so bored to go shopping for food that our fridge would only have some old milk and beer and we would order pizza from what is probably the cheapest pizzeria ever (back then 60eurocents/slice :P). But if the mood was proper we would literally stuff the fridge with all kinds of nice things and then wonder what recipe could mix all of them together. Well one of those days I came up with this nice and super easy pie. The idea was to mix together some ingredients and then use a pack of frozen pastry to stuff it with the filling.
Yesterday I managed to hurt my back so today I spent most of the day on the couch. As the evening was approaching and Stratis would come back from the office I started thinking of a quick recipe that would feed my man and allow me to spend as little time as possible standing in front of the stove. And somehow I remembered Paraskevopita. To be honest I haven't cooked it ever since that first time and was struggling to remember if I used any spinach in the "original" version. But since I didn't have any spinach anyway, I decided to skip it. Also the original recipe didn't have raisins in it. But the rest of the ingredients are same :)
For the filling:
400gr skinless, boneless chicken breast, sliced in small pieces as for wok
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups cooked rice (I used brown rice but any other would do)
1/2 cup black raisins
5-6 large champignons, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp dry oregano
1 tsp sweet boukovo
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
4-5 slices smoked ham, cut in small pieces
1 cup grated Gouda cheese
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
Rest of the ingredients:
1/2 pack fillo (phyllo?) or 2 sheets sfoliata (sfogliata?) or any other pastry you like
2-3 tbsp extra olive oil for brushing
1. In a large pan heat the oil.
2. Add chicken, onions and garlic and cook until the chicken is golden.
3. Add rice, rasins, mushrooms, oregano, boukovo, cumin, cinnamon, ginger and chicken stock, cover and cook for about 5 minutes at low heat.
4. Add ham and Gouda cheese.
5. Turn off the fire, add salt, pepper and a beaten egg and mix everything with a wooden spoon until uniform. Set aside to cool.
6. Brush a medium-size, deep baking tray with olive oil and place one phyllo sheet on the bottom. Drizzle randomly with some oil. Use very little oil since you will add more to each sheet. Add another sheet and again drizzle with oil. Repeat until you get about 5-6 layers (if you are using single sheet of pastry, i.e. sfoliata, you dont have to add oil at all). Don't try to straighten the pastry. It should be a little wrinkled to keep the oil. At the end it should look like this:
7. Fill with the chicken filling and spread out evenly so that the filling goes everywhere.
8. Place 2-3 sheets of phyllo on top, brushing with some oil between the layers. Close the remaining pastry and drizzle with oil again.
9. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is dark golden.
10. Let it cool a little before serving and enjoy!
Back in the days we've been thinking how to name the pie. The initial idea was to call it Katerina'sPie, but we figured it was a lame name. So we came up with Paraskevopita (in Greek Paraskevi = Friday and pita = pie) since I cooked it on Friday evening. The name stayed ever since!