Appetizers/ Greek Classics/ Holiday Recipes/ Pites Pies

Kotopita Parcels: Greek Chicken & Phyllo Pockets

Before there were hot pockets, there was kotopita. This Greek-Style chicken pie is sold in every cafe all over Greece. It’s a great way to use up leftover chicken and even turkey but, don’t worry because if you don’t have any leftovers in the refrigerator, season some chicken thighs with salt pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and roast them until fully cooked. The chicken combined with the creamy bechamel sauce and the flaky crisp phyllo is SO good! The best part about these is that can be assembled and stored in the freezer for months!

Greek Chicken Parcels: Kotopita Hot Pockets

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By Dimitra Khan Serves: 15-16 parcels

Before there were hot pockets, there was kotopita. This Greek-Style chicken pie is sold in every cafe all over Greece. It's a great way to use up leftover chicken and even turkey but, don't worry because if you don't have any leftovers in the refrigerator, season some chicken thighs with salt pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and roast them until fully cooked. The chicken combined with the creamy bechamel sauce and the flaky crisp phyllo is SO good! The best part about these is that can be assembled and stored in the freezer for months!

Ingredients

  • 1-pound (#10) country-style phyllo, at room temperature
  • ¾ -pound butter, melted
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 ½ pounds cooked chicken, diced or shredded
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • For the Bechamel Sauce:
  • • ¼ cup olive oil
  • • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • • 2 cups whole milk
  • • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • • 2 eggs

Instructions

1

Preheat the oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.

2

Make the Bechamel:

3

Combine the onion with the oil in a pot over medium heat and cook until soft and golden. About 6 minutes.

4

Add the bell pepper and cook 4-5 minutes or until tender.

5

Add the garlic and warm through 30 seconds.

6

Add the flour and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until toasted. Stir often so that it does not burn.

7

Add the milk, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and nutmeg. Continue to mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the chicken, the feta and mozzarella cheese and mix to combine.

8

Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more salt and pepper if needed.

9

Whisk the 2 eggs together in a bowl and add some of the hot cream to them to temper the mixture. Add the eggs to the pot and mix until combined. Set aside.

10

To create the triangles, Take a sheet of phyllo and place it on a clean work surface. Drizzle some butter on half of the phyllo and fold over. Place ¼ cup of the chicken filling on the bottom of the phyllo and fold up flag-style. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

11

To create the rectangles, drizzle some melted butter over a sheet of phyllo and place ½ cup of the chicken filling in the center of the phyllo. Fold the long sides over the phyllo (left and right).

12

Fold the bottom part of the phyllo over the filling and roll upwards to create a rectangle. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and continue to create the chicken pockets.

13

Brush the tops with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

14

Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

15

Set aside to rest for 10 minutes and serve with a salad. Enjoy!

Notes

Notes: If you’re not using leftover chicken and would like to roast chicken, place the chicken (my favorite is boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat) on a baking tray and drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons oil on top. Season both sides with salt and black pepper and roast at 425 °F until the internal temperature reaches 165 °F. These can be made with regular (#4) phyllo but, 2-3 layers should be used to create each parcel. Drizzle butter between each layer. These can be made into small appetizer triangles such as the spanakopita and tiropitakia recipes. Use 1 tablespoon of chicken filling per appetizer pastry. To make these ahead, assemble the pastries and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, brush with butter, and sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds, if desired. Place the tray in the freezer and chill the pastries until frozen then, remove the tray and wrap with plastic wrap and return to the freezer. They will keep fresh up to 3 months. When ready to bake, cover the tray with foil and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake until golden. About 20-25 minutes more.

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Greek dessert kotopita parcels - chicken in crisp flaky phyllo dough

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