Mediterranean Chicken And Artichoke Potpie

It’s Potpie Weather!

I found this recipe in the South Bend, IN Tribune, which is close to where I grew up.  This potpie recipe has a golden phyllo pastry crust that envelopes a lemony filling of chicken, feta cheese, convenient canned artichoke hearts and rice. For the chicken you can use leftovers or the meat from a store-bought rotisserie bird, or simply poach three or four chicken breasts.

This pie can be assembled the day  before, which makes for an effortless meal ready when you need it.

Also, you can cover the unbaked pie and refrigerate for a day or two. Just add 10 minutes to the baking time when you’re ready to cook it. You also can wrap the pie tightly in foil and freeze it for up to three months. When ready, unwrap the still-frozen pie and prepare as indicated in the recipe, adding 15 to 20 minutes to the baking time.

Mediterranean Chicken And Artichoke Potpie

Serves 8

2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped (½ cup)
¾ cup uncooked converted white rice
1 Tbs lemon juice
½ tsp salt, or to taste
¼ tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
1½ cups water
14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained
3 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbs chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp grated lemon zest
6 large (14-by-18-inch) sheets thawed phyllo dough
6 Tbs butter, melted

In a medium saucepan over medium, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the rice, lemon juice, salt, pepper and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover and simmer the rice until tender and it has absorbed all the liquid, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly.

Heat the oven to 375 F.

Gently squeeze any excess liquid from the artichoke hearts, slice thinly and add to the rice. Add the chicken, feta, oregano and lemon zest. Stir to combine thoroughly.

Keeping the sheets of phyllo dough in a single stack, cut them in half crosswise to make 12 pieces. Cover the pieces with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying as you work.

Brush the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter. Brush the top of a piece of phyllo with butter and set it in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with 5 more pieces of phyllo. Spread the chicken and rice filling in an even layer over the phyllo. Top with 6 more pieces of buttered phyllo.

Bake the pie for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the phyllo is crisp and golden. Let stand for 5 minutes to cool, then cut into squares to serve.

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