This wonderful recipe – courtesy of my mother – is seriously great and in so many ways.
Whilst it is a bit of an effort to make, it absolutely rewards: it looks beautiful as part of a banquet, it tastes really special, it’s fun and as I discovered, it is Oliver (my 8 year old) friendly. So friendly that he asked if he could take a slice in his lunchbox to school; this coming from a kid that thinks that tomatoes are dodgy.
Try this just once and I promise you’ll have a smile on your face!
1 c butter
2 c slivered almonds
2 tablespoons sugar
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 large onion, chopped
½ c chopped coriander
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp saffron threads, crushed
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp turmeric
1 c water
3 tbsp lemon juice
6 eggs, beaten
- Sauté the almonds in 1 tablespoon butter until golden, and then remove and drain on paper towels.
- When the almonds are cool, chop them coarsely and combine with the sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
- Sauté the chicken in 1 ½ teaspoons butter until lightly browned and then remove.
- Sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon butter until tender, and then add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, the coriander, garlic, cumin, saffron, pepper and turmeric and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the water, bring to a boil, and then add the chicken and cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon, cut into small pieces, and toss with 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
- Simmer the onion mixture, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the eggs and cook until softly set, and then season with the remaining lemon juice and salt.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a rimmed baking tray with baking paper.
- Arrange 10 – 12 sheets of filo on the paper in a pinwheel fashion, brushing each with melted butter.
- Top with a sheet folded in half and brushed with butter.
- Arrange the chicken in a 9 inch circle over the pastry and spoon over the egg mixture.
- Top with the almonds and fold the sheets up on top of the filling.
- Repeat the pinwheel pattern over the top with 10 – 12 more sheets of filo, brushing each with melted butter.
- Tuck these sheets gently under the pie and brush the top with butter.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until browned and then remove from the oven.
- Place baking paper on another baking sheet, place over the pie, invert, and return the pie to the oven and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes.
- Invert the pie onto a platter, sift over some icing sugar, and sprinkle on some cross-hatch lines of cinnamon.