Feta Filo Tart w/ Spinach & Chicken

Some people are just naturals when it comes to organizing and planning ahead. Me?…. not so much. But I’m really working on it, especially when it comes to the holidays, as I’ve learned some valuable lesson from years gone by………………..
……………….I’ve actually spoiled some holidays by trying to do too much in too little time. Can anyone out there identify? The purpose and meaning of the special holidays along with the precious time with family and friends can be lost in the hustle, bustle of many last minute to-dos. I’m determined this year to start early, have fun with the preparation and then focus on and enjoy the things that really matter. And I’m hoping to help you do the same as I share recipes and tips in the weeks ahead.

One of your best friends and helpers at this time of the year needs to be your freezer. Go ahead, clean it out and organize it right now so that you can begin to fill it up with all kinds of delicious sweet and savory delights which will make your holidays so much less stressful.

I keep an extra refrigerator and freezer in my garage and they have definitely been work horses over the years. When my son comes to visit he always checks out these “treasure chests” in the garage shorty after he arrives. In fact, he keeps such a good inventory that occasionally (when I’m feeling quite lazy) I call him to check if I have a certain item stashed away somewhere in the recesses of the garage freezer :)!

The delicious recipe I’m sharing today is one that will definitely freeze well; a fabulous spinach pie with ricotta and feta cheeses, chicken, a touch of lemon and garlic – all wrapped up in a crisp, buttery filo dough crust.  It can either be frozen unbaked or it can be baked, then froze and just re-warmed before serving.

I have made this in a cast iron skillet, to serve in wedges like a pie but it can also be prepared in small ramekins or other oven-safe serving containers as well. Fix a yummy salad, warm up some bread, either purchased or prepared ahead and frozen (yes, bread freezes very well) like maybe these Parmesan, Garlic and Rosemary Dinner Roll Fans or perhaps these Brioche Dinner Rolls and you’ll have fabulous dinner – even if you’ve worked all day!

P.S. I listened to myself and cleaned out my freezer today! Aren’t you proud of me? Oh, and I have to confess; there were some things in there that were a little scary! Not only do I not know when I froze them, I couldn’t even figure out what they were!  It’s your turn now!

Feta Filo Tart w/ Chicken and Spinach

Ingredients:
16 ounce package filo dough, unthawed, you’ll have some left over – it can be wrapped  and re-frozen
½ cup butter, melted
16 ounce container ricotta
2 large eggs, beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups feta, crumbled
4 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
zest of 1 lemon, finely zested
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 ½ cups chicken breast, torn in bite size pieces, I used a rotisserie chicken
½ cup roasted peppers, drained well and chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:
1. Place a sheet pan on the lower rack in your oven and preheat to 375˚F.

2. Filo is not difficult to work with, however you do need to know some basic information. For tips on working this fun paper thin dough, check out this site.

3. Unfold filo sheets on your counter and cover with plastic wrap, then a damp kitchen towel. (It dries out very quickly and if this happens it will be difficult to work with.) Remove 1 sheet at a time and brush with melted butter. Layer filo in a 8-9 inch greased, high-sided ovenproof sauté pan or cast iron skillet allowing at least 5 inches of filo to overhang all around*.

4. In a bowl, mix the ricotta, eggs, garlic and Feta and freshly ground pepper. Taste and add salt, if need (usually the salt from the Feta cheese will be enough). Add the spinach, chicken, parsley, lemon zest and juice, and peppers and gently combine.

5. Spoon the ricotta mixture into the pan, then fold the pastry over the top, scrunching to seal. Brush 2 more sheets of filo with butter and tear into strips. Scrunch the strips and place decoratively over the top of the tar. Brush all over with a bit more melted butter.

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and set. Check after 20 minutes and cover with foil for remainder of baking time if getting too brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving in slices.

Notes:

*As an alternative use 4-6 individual ramekins or small oven-safe containers. Line each with 2 sheets of butter brushed film with several inches hanging over the sides. Fill each with ricotta mixture, then fold film over the top scrunching to seal. Brush another film sheet with butter and tear into strips. Scrunch the strips and place decoratively over the top – they will adhere to the other pieces as they bake. Brush all over with a bit more melted butter.

Adapted from Delicious Magazine



23 thoughts on “Feta Filo Tart w/ Spinach & Chicken”

  • I would love to make this for an upcoming ladies (read foodies!) night. I have to work that day though. Could I make it the day before? That morning? Thanks. It looks delicious.

  • Hi Kim,
    The filo is on the bottom of the pan but it is much bigger than the pan so it hangs over the edges. After the filling is added the edges are brought over the top so there is filo on the top and the bottom. Enjoy!

  • I made my own version of this tonight (tailored to my allergies) and it was amazing I ended up eating mine with homemade torita chips!! Wonderful I can’t wait to make another to freeze!

  • Hi, thanks for visiting The Café – to answer your questions, I use roasted red peppers from a jar. You can find these at most grocers. And I think if you omit the chicken it would be fine, no need to increase the spinach. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Two silly questions? what kind of peppers do you use with this dish and do you imagine I would have to use more spinach if I skipped the chicken, or would the proportions be OK as is? thanks!

  • look so yummy, and I plan to make it as a side at my Easter brunch. Two silly questions: what kind of peppers do you recommend for this dish? And do you imagine it would be OK without chicken? We have other meats being served. Thanks!

  • Sorry if that wasn’t clear – I used meat from a rotisserie chicken that had been fully cooked. I get mine from Costto and it does have a bit of seasoning. You could use any kind of cooked chicken – we prefer the white meat but use what ever you like. Just taste a bit of the filling before baking to make sure it doesn’t need a bit more salt if your chicken meat is not seasoned. I would definitely not use raw chicken.

  • I’m hoping to make this gorgeous looking tart this week. So, a quick, and dumb question, as I make my grocery store list, please: are you using cooked rotisserie chicken in the tart? As in does this recipe require that the chicken is cooked and seasoned/flavored before it goes in the tart, or were you just using raw chicken meat from a whole rotisserie chicken? thanks!

  • I love the sound of this one.

    I’m a big fan of the freezer. We live in a two bedroom apartment and I have a second little bar freezer. Embarassed to say I haven’t cleaned it out for a while and it could do with a defrost too. Mayb that should go on next week’s ‘to do’ list. I often put thing in and don’t bother labeling them thinking ‘oh I’ll remember’ but I never do!

  • This would be perfect however it is served. Your photos are gorgeous and this sounds delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • This is a great make ahead recipe, although I think we would be tempted to gobble it down quickly. You are so right about planning ahead. I spent a good deal of last year’s holiday having panic attacks from trying to do too much. Great advice Chris.

  • This looks beautiful and in some ways reminds me of spanikopita only in a family size serving with chicken. Which issue of Delicious is this from? I love that magazine.

    You’ve done a beautiful job of photographing your dishes and I will without question try this after cleaning out my freezer. Thanks for reminding me.

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