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Perfect for parties or just a special dinner, my Mum’s chicken filo pasties (or chicken filo parcels), filled with prosciutto, cheese and spinach are pretty easy to put together, taste delicious and look rather impressive.

Mum's chicken filo pasties via www.clairekcreations.com

Mum’s chicken filo pasties

My mum is a great cook but when it comes to sharing the details of her creations she’s a bit frustrating.

She never really follows recipes and is very good at instinctively adding this and that to get the perfect balance.

The problem is that she never knows what went into something. It’s also pretty rare that something appears on the menu more than once (except in the case of her chicken filo).

Chicken filo pasties - great easy but fancy meal for dinner parties or to keep in the freezer for a delicious dinner

Chicken filo pasties (aka chicken in filo pastry) were mum’s invention for Easter a few years ago and they were so good, with a bit of tweaking, she served them for Mother’s Day lunch that year too.

Yay, a repeat! In case you don’t understand my excitement, a repeat means I actually get the recipe!

What do you need to make chicken filo parcels

  • Filo (or phyllo) pastry – the key ingredient.
  • Melted butter for brushing – we prefer pure butter – the type you get in a block wrapped in foil. 
  • Free-range chicken breast fillets (1 per person) – about 100g each
  • Grated gruyere cheese (1 tbsp per chicken fillet) – likely need to buy a block and grate it yourself
  • Creamed spinach – spinach mixed with bechamel sauce (2 tbsp per chicken fillet)
  • Proscuitto (1 slice per chicken fillet) – either fresh sliced from the deli or the packet type

Can you freeze the chicken pasties?

Yes! 

The best part is that these chicken pasties can be made ahead and frozen.

On the day, all you have to do is take them out of the freezer to thaw then pop them in the oven making them perfect for entertaining (or for keeping them in the freezer for a quick dinner).

We recommend wrapping each filo pillow individually in plastic wrap or wax paper and freezing. If using wax paper, put them all in a container in the freezer. 

Making the pasties

How to prepare chicken filo parcels

As luck would have it I popped in on the day Mum was doing the prep work so I grabbed a few pics as she worked. It’s a good thing because I don’t think my explanation would be too clear without pictorial support.

1 – Bash out the chicken (not pictured) using a meat mallet or rolling pin. 

2 – Spread the spinach filling then top with the cheese & prosciutto. 

3 – Fold one side of the chicken up and skewer it then fold the other up to meet it. 

4 – Wrap up the pastry like a parcel (follow the order of sides in the photos brushing it with butter as you go. 

5 – Wrap to freezer or cook them. 

Chicken filo parcels filled with spinach, cheese & prosciutto

Inside the chicken filo parcels is nice and juicy thanks to the cheesy spinach and rich gruyere and the prosciutto gives it a saltiness finished off with the crunchiness of the wafer-thin pastry.

You’ll notice that the recipe isn’t very exact.

It’s more of a ‘feel your way’ recipe rather than set in stone.

Feel free to experiment with flavours or fillings.

Mum’s only big tip is to make sure you flatten the chicken out otherwise it will take too long to cook and the pastry with burn.

Chicken filo pasties - great easy but fancy meal for dinner parties or to keep in the freezer for a delicious dinner

What is filo pastry? 

Filo pastry is a super-thin (like paper) pastry common in Greek (hello Baklava!) Middle Eastern (Boureks anyone?) and Balkan cooking.

When you use the pastry, you join layers by brushing each layer with butter or oil which also helps it become crisp as it cooks. 

You can buy it at most supermarkets in the freezer or fridge section. 

What is filo pastry made from? 

Filo pastry is made using flour, water and usually a little bit of oil or vinegar, although some recipes also use egg yolk. You can make your own but it is pretty fiddly and one of those things I put in the too hard basket. 

A few tips for using filo pastry

  • Filo pastry will dry out quickly so only take a little out of the packaging at a time.
  • Get the melted butter ready before you open the pastry.
  • Make sure your knife is super sharp or the pastry will tear.
  • Use a pastry brush for the butter.
  • If the pastry breaks, use the butter like glue to put it back together. Try and use the ripped pieces on the inside so it looks prettier.

Could you use puff pastry instead of filo to make chicken parcels?

I haven’t tried it but I think you could just as easily use puff pastry for this recipe in the same way although you will need to cook at 200C fan-forced. 


What about you?

When you entertain do you try to do it all in advance or are you more a spur-of-the-moment entertainer?

More parcel-like dinner ideas:

Chicken filo pasties
Chicken filo pasties
Chicken filo pasties
Chicken filo pasties

Mum's chicken filo pasties via www.clairekcreations.com
Mum's chicken filo pasties via www.clairekcreations.com
Mum's chicken filo pasties via www.clairekcreations.com
Chicken filo parcels

Chicken filo parcels

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • Filo pastry
  • Melted butter for brushing
  • Free-range chicken breast fillets (1 per person)
  • Grated gruyere cheese (1 tbsp per chicken fillet)
  • Creamed spinach - spinach mixed with bechamel sauce (2 tbsp per chicken fillet)
  • Proscuitto (1 slice per chicken fillet)
  • Dates (would add a raw date chopped but Dad hates them)

Instructions

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and baking paper.
    2. Place the chicken fillet on a chopping board and bash it out until it is about 2cm thick.
    3. Lay one sheet of pastry out, brush it with butter then place another sheet on top then brush it with butter too.
    4. Lay out one chicken fillet then pile the middle with cheese, spinach and folded proscuitto (see image).
    5. Fold the left side of the chicken over the filling then the right side and then fold the left side of the pastry over the top.
    6. Brush it with butter and fold the top of the pastry down over the chicken, brush it with butter and fold up the bottom.
    7. Finally, brush the rest of the pastry with butter and roll up the chicken.
    8. Place it on a baking dish seam-side down and brush with butter.
    9. At this stage you can freeze the parcels. Freeze in a single layer. Defrost before cooking.
    10. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned.

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