Chicken and Rice Spanakopita
- Servings: 10-12
- Provided by: Chef Voula Halliday
- 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) cooked long grain rice (about 1 cup (250 mL) uncooked rice)
- 1-1/2 lbs (750 g) skinless, boneless chicken breasts or skinless boneless thighs, or a combination of both
- 3 cups (570 mL) fresh spinach
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) finely chopped dill
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 1 tsp (5 mL) freshly ground pepper
- 12 sheets phyllo pastry, thawed according to package instructions
- 1/4 (50 mL) cup olive oil
Ingredients Print Recipe
Set oven to 350F (180C). Lightly coat a 9 inch (23 cm) spring form pan with oil and set aside.
Place cooked rice into a large mixing bowl.
Cut chicken into small bite size pieces. Set a large pan, lightly coated with oil, over medium high heat. Add chicken pieces to pan, in 2 or 3 batches to avoid overcrowding.
Cook chicken until evenly browned. Remove to chicken to bowl with rice as it's done.
Meanwhile, coarsely chop spinach. Add spinach, crumbled feta cheese, finely chopped dill, parsley, and thinly sliced onions to bowl.
In a small bowl, lightly whisk together the 3 eggs. Add eggs into bowl with rice mixture.
Sprinkle in salt and pepper. Mix ingredients together until evenly combined. Set aside.
Lay the thawed phyllo out onto a clean surface. Lightly brush one sheet with oil, on one side only. Keep a tea towel handy to cover phyllo pastry so that sheets don't dry out while you are preparing the phyllo based shell.
Place phyllo sheet, oil side up, in prepared spring form pan so that one end is inside the pan-covering the base of the pan. The rest of the phyllo sheet will be hanging over, and outside the rim of the pan.
Repeat this step 7 more times, rotating the pan a bit each time, so that you end up with 8 layers of phyllo lining the base of the pan, and so that the entire circumference of the pan has phyllo pastry hanging over, and outside the rim of the pan (the way you placed the first sheet, but now it's like that all around).
Lift the overhanging edges and fold them into the pan, all around, so that you are creating a layered pastry lined wall of the pie. Press the pastry firmly into the sides of the pan to give the shell structure. Turn rice and chicken mixture into pie shell.
Brush the remaining phyllo, one sheet at a time, with oil. Rip each sheet into 4 pieces and gently crumple the pieces into a very loose ball. One by one, place the scrunched phyllo balls on top of the filling to cover the whole pie. Lightly brush the top with the remaining oil.
Place a piece of foil over the pan. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 minutes more, or until the top is golden. Remove to a rack to cool slightly before releasing spring form ring. Serve in a platter. Use a sharp knife to cut into wedges.