I wanted to try a twist on a pithivier, a puff pastry torte, and I decided phyllo pastry would make it lighter and also unusual. I have created a wonderful way of using the dough, which I am sure you will enjoy making and eating.
– PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes, plus making the stock and 30 minutes marinating COOKING TIME 1 hour.
– 2¼ sticks plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter.
– 2 boneless, skinless, corn-fed chicken breast halves, about 6 ounces each, cut into ¾-inch cubes.
– grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 whole lemon.
– 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt.
– 2 teaspoons finely chopped tarragon leaves.
– 1 small young leek, green part cut in half lengthwise and then into slices, white part reserved for another dish.
– 7 ounces mixed wild or shiitake mushrooms.
– 1 tablespoon sunflower oil.
– 18 ounces fresh phyllo pastry dough, cut into sixteen 6¼- x 8½-inch rectangles.
– 1 egg, beaten.
– 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar.
– ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons Chicken Stock.
– ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream.
– sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Step 2: Mix the chicken, lemon zest and juice, yogurt and half the tarragon in a nonmetallic bowl. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes.
Step 3: Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the leek, return the water to a boil and blanch 1 minute. Lift out using a slotted spoon and refresh in ice water, then lift out and pat dry. Add the mushrooms to a boiling water, blanch 1 minute, then lift out, refresh and pat dry.
Step 4: Melt the remaining butter with the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over high heat. When the butter is foaming, add the mushrooms and sauté 2 minutes. Add the leek and chicken and sauté 2 minutes until starting to color. Remove from the pan and leave to cool at room temperature.
Step 5: Heat the oven to 350°F. Cover the pile of phyllo dough with a clean, damp dish towel and work quickly with one piece at a time. Lay a sheet of dough on the countertop, brush lightly with clarified butter, then grate a little lemon zest from the whole lemon over the top. Lay a second sheet over the top and brush with butter as before, then season with a little salt. Put another sheet on top, brush with butter again and grate over a little lemon zest. Finish with a fourth sheet, then butter and a little pepper. Beat together the egg and 1 tablespoon water to make an egg wash. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash, then spoon one-quarter of the chicken onto the bottom half of the dough. Gently fold the dough over the filling, press the edges together and tuck them under to seal and form a package. Put on a cookie sheet and put in the refrigerator while you make 3 more packages. Brush the outsides with the clarified butter, then bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
Step 6: Meanwhile, return the skillet to medium heat. Add the sherry vinegar and deglaze the pan by stirring to remove any caramelized bits stuck to the bottom. Add the stock and cream, turn the heat down to low and simmer 10 to 12 minutes until there is slightly less than 1 cup of sauce, thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the remaining tarragon and season to taste. Spoon the sauce over the phyllo packages to serve.