I am a idealistic and visionary person in many ways, always dreaming up new things I want to do. Life is short, and because of that fact, I find myself constantly sorting though a stream of new goals and ideas ever-running through my head! The problem is that I am more of a planner than a doer sometimes…
Recently, I decided that I wanted to cook only Greek food for a whole month–or maybe cook through a Greek cookbook until I finished the entire thing–something along those lines. Anyway, that is not going to happen… at least not in the near future! BUT, the idea did spur me on to impulsively order a cool Greek cookbook called The Food and Wine of Greece by Diane Kochilas… and I did successfully complete one recipe out of it!
I picked this recipe because I love spanikopita (spinach & feta pie), so I figured making a regular-sized kotopitta me feta (chicken & feta pie) would be a fun challenge! It was definitely a process, but I felt very accomplished in the end.
Kotopitta Me Feta
1/4 cup of olive oil, or more if necessary
One recipe phyllo dough of choice flavored with ouzo
^or buttered layers of the freezer kind, in my case — same that I used for spanikopita here.
2 boneless chicken breasts, diced
1 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, packed
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons dried thyme
Pinch of sage
Pinch of dried mint
1/2 teaspoon majoram
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1/3 pound feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons grated kefalotyri or Romano cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon ouzo*
1 egg yolk (optional), for brushing crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using about 1 teaspoon olive oil, lightly oil a 10 1/2-inch pie plate. Remove phyllo dough from refrigerator until ready to use.
- In a large bowl, combine diced chicken breast, scallions, dill, celery, pepper, and herbs. Sprinkle feta and grated cheese over mixture and mix again. Add eggs, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and ouzo and toss gently until all ingredients and flavors are thoroughly mixed.
- Divide phyllo dough into two equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out bottom half of dough to a 12-inch circle. Carefully place in pie dish. Brush with 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread chicken mixture evenly over bottom dough.
- Roll out top half of dough, again to a 12-inch circle. Place over filling. Press top and bottom layers together around edges toward inner rim to seal. Make several small incisions in top of dough with a sharp knife. Brush with egg yolk (optional, for a glossy dough), and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and chicken tender. Remove pan from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold.
*My ouzo substitute: One tablespoon of vodka plus 1/8 teaspoon of anise seed. :)
I think that objectively, the pie came out really well! It was very flavorful–maybe I even overdid it on the spices, actually–but the result was definitely a treat. One recipe from the book accomplished!