Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A taste of Greece

Last night I made chicken Spanikopita for dinner. I base my version on a recipe from Williams-Sonoma Chicken. I halve most of the ingredients, resulting in the recipe that follows. The light flaky filo crust is best right out of the oven. Serve with a Greek salad - we almost felt like we were back on Santorini!

Chicken Spanikopita
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package (10-oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 8 oz. feta
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 12 sheets filo dough

Place chicken breasts in a saucepan and cover with water. Add a little salt, a few peppercorns, a bay leaf, celery if you have it. Bring to a simmer and cook until chicken is cooked through. Drain and allow chicken to cool.

In a large non-stick frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp. Olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook until the moisture evaporates, about 2 more minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.

While the mixture is cooling, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken to the spinach mixture. Add the dill. Then crumble the feta into the mixture. Add the eggs, salt and papper to taste and mix thoroughly. (You can make the filling a day ahead and then just assemble the spanikopita in the evening before baking to save time!)

Preheat oven to 350. Melt 2 Tbsp. olive oil with 2 Tbsp. butter in a small dish. Brush a 9x9 inch glass baking dish with the mixtures. Stack the filo sheets on a work surface and cover with a damp paper towel. Brush one sheet with the oil/butter mixture and fit it into the pan, allowing the excess to fall over the edges. Layer a total of 6 sheets in the bottom of the dish, brushing each one. Then spoon in the filling. Layer another 6 sheets on top of the dish, brushing each one. Tuck in the edges. Bake for 50-60 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then cut and serve!

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