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Filo pie with slow-cooked harissa chicken & tahini sauce

Filo pie with slow-cooked harissa chicken & tahini sauce

There is enough chicken here to either fill two pies or, if you prefer, to make one pie and keep the other half for another time. Either way, it's worth making the tahini sauce to drizzle over: it makes the whole thing really rich and special.

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  • Serves4 (plus chicken for 4)
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare2 hrs
  • Cook1 hr
  • Total time3 hrs
  • Pluscooling

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  • kg x 1kg packs Essential British Chicken Thigh Fillets
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • tbsp Cooks' Ingredients Ruby Rose Harissa Paste
  • tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 500ml Cooks’ Ingredients Fresh Chicken Stock
  • 2 x 25g packs coriander, leaves roughly chopped

For the tahini sauce

  • 60g Cooks’ Ingredients Tahini
  • 100g Essential Greek Style Yogurt
  • tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

For the filo

  • 40g unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus a little for greasing
  • 270g Jus Rol filo sheets


  1. Place the chicken thighs, garlic, cumin, cinnamon and harissa into a large bowl and add 1 tsp salt and a good grind of pepper. Mix well to combine, cover and set aside to marinate while the onions cook in the next step (or chill in the fridge if making in advance).

  2. Pour the oil into a large sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions, ¼ tsp salt and some black pepper, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often and lowering the heat to medium halfway through. You want the onions to be soft and cooked through but not crispy. Add some stock to the pan if the onions are catching.

  3. Add the chicken, with marinade, to the pan, increase the heat to high and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring often, then pour over the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.

  4. Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 35 minutes more, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked, through with no pink meat, the juices run clear, it has broken down and the sauce has thickened. Most of the liquid should have disappeared. Stir in the coriander and set aside until completely cool. Put ½ the chicken into the freezer for a future pie or meal.

  5. Mix together all the tahini sauce ingredients and chill in the fridge until needed (it keeps for up to 3 days – you may need to loosen the consistency with water to serve).

  6. For the filo, preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Grease a 23cm springform tin, then line the base and sides with baking parchment. Combine the butter with 3 tbsp oil. Lay 1 filo sheet on a work surface and brush with the butter-oil mix. Transfer to the tin, so the base is covered and the filo rises up and over the sides of the tin. Repeat with the next sheet, brushing with butter-oil and arranging at a slight angle to the first piece of pastry. Repeat with the next 3 sheets, so the base and sides are all covered.

  7. Pile the chicken into the tin, spread out evenly, then spoon over the tahini sauce. Brush 1 piece of filo, fold in ½, then place over the tahini layer, tucking it around the filling. Brush with the butter-oil mixture, then repeat with the last piece of filo, angling it to cover any exposed areas. Fold in the overhang, crinkling up the filo to create a crumpled effect on top. Brush with the remaining butter-oil mixture. The pie is now ready for baking, or baking then freezing (see below). It can also be covered, chilled and baked a few hours later

  8. Place on a baking tray and cook for 1 hour, until golden brown and piping hot in the middle. If it’s taking on too much colour, cover with foil. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 10-15 minutes, then release from the tin and serve.

Cook’s tip

The cooked pie can be frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost in the fridge, then bake for 40 minutes, covered loosely with foil, until the filling is piping hot.

If you’ve frozen a batch of filling, defrost and reheat until piping hot in a saucepan, adding a splash of water or stock if needed.

You can try it:
Piled into baked potatoes or rice, and topped with either grated cheese or another batch of tahini sauce
Spread out into a dish, topped with mashed potatoes (or sweet potato mash or butter bean mash) and served as a shepherd’s pie-type dish
Over polenta
With salad

Double all of the filo and tahini sauce ingredients if making two pies at the same time.



Typical values per (pie only) when made using specific products in recipe


3,674kJ/ 880kcals



Saturated Fat












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