It is similar to chicken pastel in the Philippines — a meat casserole baked in a pie crust — but traditional Filipino chicken pastel is made with shortcrust pastry (and, no, it’s not pastel without the crust) and this one isn’t.
Why phyllo pastry for the crust? Because I wanted to try to make a savory pie using the technique for making baklava. Each phyllo sheet is brushed with melted butter, the crust is cut before the pie goes into the oven and recut after it is fully baked. That’s how baklava is made and I wanted to find out if it would work if the filling is thicker and more dense than crushed nuts.
Yes, it works. Quite beautifully too. But because this dish is the result of a kitchen experiment back in 2017, and I wasn’t sure that it would be a success, I didn’t bother with step-by-step photos. The recipe below is very detailed though so it should not be difficult to follow it.
Chicken mushroom spinach pot pie
- 2 large handfuls spinach leaves
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium potato - cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 1 medium carrot - cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 4 chicken thigh fillets - (skin on) minced
- 200 grams fresh button mushrooms - sliced
- 1 small onion - chopped
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried dill
- ¼ cup chicken bone broth
- 2 tablespoons cream
- ¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 20 8" x 8" sheets phyllo pastry - (see notes after the recipe)
- 125 grams butter - melted
- 125 grams cream cheese - cut into small cubes
Cook the filling
- Rinse the spinach leaves. Blanch in boiling water with about a teaspoon of salt. Strain, rinse in cold water, strain again and squeeze.
- Chop the blanched spinach and set aside.
- Heat the four tablespoons butter in a frying pan.
- Cook the potato and carrot cubes over medium heat until lightly browned. Scoop out and set aside.
- Add the minced chicken and sliced mushrooms to the pan. Cook over high heat until the chicken is no longer pink.
- Add the chopped onion, thyme and dill.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Continue cooking until the onion pieces appear translucent.
- Add the potato and carrot cubes back into the pan.
- Pour in the broth. Bring to a simmer. Taste. Add more salt and pepper, as needed.
- Cook the chicken and vegetables over low heat, covered, for about 10 minutes.
- Pour in the cream. Continue cooking, uncovered, until the sauce thickens.
- Stir in the spinach, grated cheese and parsley.
- Give the filling a final taste test and adjust the seasonings, as needed.
- Cool the filling completely.
Assemble the pot pie
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Take an 8″x8″ baking pan and brush the bottom and sides with melted butter.
- Lay a phyllo sheet on the bottom of the pan. Dab with melted butter.
- Repeat until you have 10 phyllo sheets all dabbed with melted butter.
- Spread the filling on top of the 10 layers of phyllo.
- Scatter the cream cheese cubes over the filling.
- Place a phyllo sheet on top of the filling. Dab with melted butter. Repeat until you have another 10 sheets, all dabbed with melted butter, on top of the filling.
- Using an extremely sharp knife, carefully cut the unbaked pie into quarters.
- Bake the phyllo chicken mushroom spinach pie at 375F for 50 minutes. Do check after 30 minutes though. Ovens differ from one another and your pie may bake faster than mine.
Serve the chicken mushroom spinach pot pie
- Take the pie out of the oven. Cool for about five minutes to allow the filling to firm up.
- Recut so that the knife goes all the way through the bottom crust.
- Serve the phyllo chicken mushroom spinach pie while hot.