Lemony Chicken Pies
No forks are required for these intensely flavorful Mediterranean-inflected hand pies. Filled to the brim with lemony chicken, fennel, and onion and spiked with marjoram, mint, and clove, these treats make for a superbly satisfying snack.
Recipe by: Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson
Yield: Makes 10 pies
For the filling:
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound ground chicken, preferably dark meat
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small leek, white and light green parts, finely chopped
¼ bulb fennel, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 sprig marjoram
¼ teaspoon dried mint
⅛ teaspoon ground clove
3 tablespoons lemon juice, plus 1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
For the pies:
½ (16 oz.) package 14x9" phyllo pastry sheets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add chicken and cook, stirring to break up clumps, until chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes; season with salt. Transfer chicken and remaining juices to medium bowl and set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in same skillet over medium-high. Add onion, leek, fennel, garlic, bay leaf, marjoram, mint, clove, and lemon juice; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Add chicken and its juices and cook, stirring occasionally, until the moisture in the pan is almost evaporated and the mixture is glossy, 5 to 7 minutes. Add lemon zest and pine nuts, season with salt, and stir to combine. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
Preheat oven to 375˚. Place a sheet of phyllo on a cutting board. Brush lightly with olive oil and top with a second sheet of phyllo, pressing gently to adhere. Brush with more olive oil. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut oiled phyllo into three 3"-wide strips. Add about 2 tablespoons chicken mixture near 1 corner of a strip on end nearest you, then fold corner of phyllo over to enclose filling and form a triangle. Continue folding strip, maintaining triangle shape. Put triangle, seam side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and top with sesame seeds. Repeat with remaining phyllo and mixture to make 10 pies.
Bake pies until phyllo is golden brown and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.