As you might remember, I asked my readers to give me some suggestions of meals/recipes they’d like me to cook. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the awesome suggestions and I’m slowly making my way through the loooong list of recipes.
One of the suggestions was for a Phyllo pie with Chicken, Mushrooms and Leeks by my friend Simone. I really liked the idea and as Simone and I are both counting calories, knew I had to help her out.
This recipe isn’t fat free, but I’m pretty sure it’s as low in fat as any pie/pastry dish I’ve ever had. Phyllo Pastry is very low in fat as it’s made from flour, water and a tiny bit of oil and vinegar. So if, like me, you have a thing for pastry but can’t afford all the loveliness of buttery puff pastry / shortcrust pastry, this is the perfect alternative.
I made the filling quite simple but my one concern when using Phyllo is that it so easily becomes dry and the filling becomes uninteresting. But it’s important to remember that you can’t make the filling too saucy / moist either as then the Phyllo will become so soft and the whole thing will just fall apart.
Added a small amount of fat free milk (you could also use chicken stock) to the sauteed mixture and thickened it with some cornflour. I thought I had ruined it when the mixture became quite stiff and stodgy (neither of which are attractive in a pie filling) but I proceeded and it worked really well at the end. The filling was flavourful and just moist enough and the pastry was crisp (although at the bottom it wasn’t as crisp naturally). Also, when you cook the mushrooms, quite a lot of liquid will be released. Keep sauteing the mushrooms and leeks until the water has evaporated and the pan becomes almost dry again. This might take up to 10 minutes.
I served the rolls with a simple salad of Rocket, Avocado and Capers and dressed it with lemon juice and pepper to keep the fat intake of this meal relatively low.
Makes 6-8 Phyllo rolls
1kg chicken breasts / thighs, deboned and skin removed, cubed
300g leeks, trimmed and washed then chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
500g portabellini mushrooms, sliced
1tbsn lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
250ml fat free milk / chicken stock
1-2tbsn cornflour mixed with 2tbsn cold water
6-8 sheets Phyllo pastry
3tbsn oil for brushing
- Heat a large saucepan and add 1tbsn oil. Add the cubed chicken and saute until the chicken is white throughout and the edges start browning.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
- Add the leeks to the pot and allow to saute for one minute. Add the mushrooms and garlic and allow to cook until all the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.
- Add the chicken back into the pot and season with the paprika, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Add the milk and the cornflour mix and allow the sauce to thicken.
- Keeping the phyllo covered with a moist tea-towel, use one at a time and brush some oil on the outer edges of the sheet. Fold the sheet in half so that it forms a double layer. Spoon some chicken mixture length ways onto the pastry (not too much as you don’t want the pastry to tear because it’s too full). Fold over the sides of the pastry and roll the pastry. Brush a bit of oil on the edge of the pastry and place the roll seal down on a greased baking tray.
- Bake the Phyllo rolls at 180°c for 10-15 minutes until they are golden brown and crisp.
- Serve right away with a side salad.