Kotopita: Greek Style Chicken in Phyllo Pie



κοτόπιτα
Get this recipe and more on my website: http://www.dimitrasdishes.com/recipes/kotopita-greek-style-chicken-in-phyllo-pie

Serves 12:
​For the roasted chicken:
1 whole roasted chicken
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin powder
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

For the filling:
1/4 cup olive oil
​1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, whole
​2 bell peppers, diced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or rosemary
​other optional vegetables: chopped carrots, sliced mushrooms
​salt and freshly ground pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
​1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup grated gouda or mozzarella cheese

For the béchamel sauce:
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
​2 eggs

For the crust:
1 pound phyllo dough, thawed and at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted
a few tablespoons of sesame seeds

​​
​Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, 200 degrees Celsius.

​Wash the chicken with cold water and pat it dry. Make sure to remove anything that may be inside the cavity.
​Pour the olive oil over the chicken and season both sides with the herbs and spices.
Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.
​Remove the foil and bake uncovered 40 additional minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
Allow to cool completely.

​In the meantime make the filling by cooking the garlic cloves with the diced onions and oil in a pan for about 15 minutes or until soft.
​Add the diced bell peppers, season with some salt and pepper and cook 5-6 minutes or until they soften and release their juices.
​When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat and set the bones aside to make broth another day.
Shred the meat or chop it. About 4 cups are needed for this recipe.
​Add the meat and the sautéed pepper mixture to a large bowl and mix well to combine.

​Make the béchamel sauce by combining the olive oil and flour to a saucepan. Cook over medium heat while whisking until it becomes slightly toasted.
​Add the milk, salt. pepper, and nutmeg. Whisk well to combine. Take care to not add too much salt. There will be lots of cheese in the filling which is already salty.
Bring the mixture to a boil and continue whisking until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
​Remove from heat and add about a cup of this mixture to the eggs. Whisk to incorporate and to temper them.
​Add the egg mixture to the saucepan and whisk well to combine.
Pour the béchamel sauce into the mixing bowl with the filling. Add the cheeses and mix well.
​Add some fresh thyme and taste to see if any more salt and pepper is needed.
​I always add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. It’s up to you to do the same or to just leave it out.
Set the filling aside.

​Note: Phyllo dough comes in various thicknesses. The thinner the phyllo, the more sheets will be in a pack. The thicker phyllo will have fewer sheets since it is sold by weight. I usually buy the #4 thickness. Any phyllo will do.

​Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 170 degrees Celsius.

Remove the phyllo from its packaging. Separate it into 2 equal stacks. One will be for the bottom and the other for the top of the pie. I like to use a little more for the bottom and less for the top. It’s a matter of personal preference. The pie will still be delicious either way.
Brush the baking pan with melted butter.
Take 2-4 sheets of phyllo and place them at the 12:00 position of the pan (as if you were looking at a clock)placing half in the pan and the other half should hang out of the pan.
​Drizzle some melted butter on top of the phyllo.
Take 2-4 more phyllo sheets and place them at the 3:00 position of the baking pan, half in half hanging out.
​Drizzle them with some more melted butter.
​Take 2-4 more phyllo sheets and place them down in the bottom of the pan. Drizzle with melted butter.
​Take 2-4 phyllo sheets and place them at the 9:00 position of the baking pan. Drizzle with butter.
​Pour all of the filling onto the pan and cover it with the phyllo that is hanging outside of the pan.
Drizzle with melted butter.
​Keep taking 2-4 stacks of phyllo and place them in the pan, tucking the edges in really well. Drizzle with melted butter until all of the phyllo runs out.
​Scour the pie into 12 equal pieces and pour the remaining butter all over the pie. Sprinkle the top with some sesame seeds.
​Bake 45 -60 minutes or until the pie is golden brown on top and the filling is bubbling.
​Sometimes, it can take 1 hour and 15 minutes to be ready.
Allow the pie at least 20-30 minutes to rest at room temperature so that the filling sets and it will be easy to slice and serve.

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