Chicken and Spinach Filo Parcels

These Chicken and Spinach Filo Parcels are simple to assemble and make a great lunch or dinner.

Filo-based dishes are always delicious, but often very high in calories due to the high number of layers of pastry and melted butter. This recipe uses only 2 layers of pastry and no butter - and you won't even know the difference!

I love the crunch on the outside and warm, soft inside of a filo - and this one has just that!

I played around with this recipe a couple of times before I got it right. Firstly, I had used ground chicken breast and ricotta. This combination was really delicious, but the dish was overall a little too dry.

Following this attempt, I switched the ground chicken for sliced chicken breast, and the ricotta for chickpeas and got the result I was looking for all along.

Chicken and Spinach Filo Parcels

Serves 4 - 6 (makes 6 parcels)

400 g (0.9 lbs) skinless chicken breast, sliced
400 g (14 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
200 g (7 oz) baby spinach leaves
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 cloves garlic, crushed
12 sheets filo pastry
Canola or rice bran oil spray

1. Preheat oven to 220C (425F). Heat a fry pan over a medium-high heat and spray with oil. Brown the chicken together with the crushed garlic. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. In a food processor, combine chickpeas, spinach, and paprika. Process until smooth. Stir through the browned chicken.

3. Place a sheet of filo pastry on a clean surface (remember to keep the rest of the pastry under a damp cloth to keep from drying out), spray oil across the surface, and place another sheet over top of the first. Place 1/6th of the chicken mixture in the lower part of the pastry, leaving a gap at the bottom and on both sides.

4. Bring up the sides over the mixture and roll into a cylinder. Place on a baking tray and spray the top with a little more oil (to make sure it crisps up nicely!). 

5. Repeat  with the remaining pastry and chicken mixture.

6. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the outside is crispy and the chicken is cooked through.

7. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, or a fresh salad.

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