This pie was made using filo pastry for the crust, which gave a wonderful crispy, flaky and airy texture. I filled it with chicken tenders, leek, asparagus, roasted red pepper and blue cheese that were in the fridge from New Year's Eve...
I had some oil left from the finished jar of sundried tomatoes, and I used it to add flavour in two ways: I cooked the filling with it, and then I used it to brush onto the filo pastry, instead of just melted butter.
The breadcrumbs in the freezer were toasted until crispy, and sprinkled onto the sheets of filo. This gave some extra crunch, as well as adding more air into the pastry, increasing the flakiness.
Using sundried tomato oil, season with salt and pepper, and cook:
8 chicken tenders
Remove from the pan and allow to cool, before dicing.
In the same pan, using sundried tomato oil, cook until soft:
1 leek, thinly sliced
Season with salt and black pepper while cooking.
3/4 cup of diced asparagus spears
Cook for a couple of minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in:
1/2 cup diced roasted red pepper
Stir in the cooked, diced chicken.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
To prepare the breadcrumbs, place in a pan:
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Drizzle of olive oil
Cook over a medium heat, stirring often until the breadcrumbs are crispy and golden.
Remove from the heat.
Stir in a handful of grated Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
Turn the oven on 375F to heat while you assemble the pie. Lightly grease an 8" springform pan.
Place a sheet of filo pastry onto a clean counter.
Brush lightly with sundried tomato oil.
Sprinkle the filo with some of the breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
Repeat with another 5 sheets of filo, so that you have a stack of 6 sheets in total.
Carefully lift the stack of filo sheets into the 8" springform pan, gently tucking them into the pan, leaving the excess overhanging.
Place the filling into the pastry shell.
Crumble blue cheese over the top of the filling. I used about:
Carefully fold the excess pastry over the filling, brushing it with sundried tomato oil as you go.
Brush the top with oil and sprinkle the last of the breadcrumbs and Parmesan over the top.
Place the springform pan onto a baking sheet and into the oven.
Bake until the top is golden and crisp, and the filling is hot. This should take about 40 - 45 minutes.
Remove the ring from the springform pan, and carefully slide the pie onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut wedges from the pie and serve.
- This is an easy way to use up filo pastry, especially if some of the sheets are torn, as you are not worrying about rolling them up to contain the filling, as in the post Chicken, Leek and Asiago Strudel.
- The filling can be baked with other pastry if you have no filo.
- The breadcrumbs and Parmesan can be omitted...I liked the extra crunch it provided. Ground nuts could also be used if you like.
- Filo pastry is usually brushed with melted butter to help crisp the sheets; this also helps to prevent the moisture from the filling making the pastry soggy. You can use olive oil if you prefer. I used up the oil from my jar of sundried tomatoes, as it is full of extra flavour.
- I also used the sundried tomato oil to cook the chicken and vegetables for the filling, for the same reason. If you use plain olive oil, add in some chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary or basil, some chili flakes and / or garlic.
- Other meat can be used...I had chicken tenders in the freezer. Try chicken breast, cooked sausage, fish, ground beef or pork.
- Instead of leeks, onions or shallots can be used. Slice them thinly before cooking.
- Other vegetables can be used...frozen peas or corn, diced sundried tomatoes, olives, zucchini or eggplant, mushrooms.
- Cheeses such as feta, soft goat cheese, Asiago or fontina can be used instead of blue cheese.
- The pie can be assembled up to a day ahead. It can also be assembled and frozen; bake from frozen, lowering the temperature to 350F and allowing extra time.