My garden was a late producer this year. While that was kind of a drag in the middle of summer and produce wasn't ready to harvest, it was nice in October, before the first frost hit, to still be able to gather fresh produce from my back yard. This recipe was created to use up some of my late summer bounty, and it does so in a very tasty manor, if I do say so myself.
Filo dough may look intimidating, and if not done properly it can be a nightmare. Here's a few tips.
1. make sure dough is completely thawed, either 24 hrs in fridge or 8 hrs on counter
2. keep a damp cloth over the unused portion of filo dough to prevent it from drying out
3. make sure your butter is melted & ready to go, cold butter won't spread nicely, rather it will tear the filo & make you want to cry. Not at all a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
4. Don't worry about rips & tears, they happen to everyone! Once you've layered & rolled the dough you won't even be able to tell you ripped the dough.
Filo wrapped chicken with feta & tomatoes
2 chicken breasts sliced into 2 in chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t dill weed (can add more to taste)
1/2 t greek oregano
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T asiago cheese, shredded
1 T EVOO
1/4 med yellow onion
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 c feta cheese
2 t oil
10 sheets filo dough
2 T butter, melted
OPTIONAL tzatziki sauce
1 container (1/2 c) plain yogurt, strained
1/2 cucumber shredded & squeezed dry
1 t dill or oregano or combo of both
1 clove garlic minced
Marinate chicken w/ herbs, garlic, vinegar & oil in a zip top bag (or bowl, whatever!). Marinate chicken for at least 30 min but you can go as long as 2 hrs for deeper flavor.
Slice zucchini into planks, 1/8 in thick. Slice onions also. Pat veggies dry for best browning. Heat a sautee pan over med hi heat, add oil. Once hot (oil shimmers) add veggies. Allow to cook about 5 min on each side or until they are caramelized. Turn & brown on 2nd side, this goes faster than the 1st side FYI. Set veggies aside to cool.
In a food grinder (attachment to KitchenAid) grind the marinated chicken, adding the onions to the grinder as well. Once all meat is ground put in 2 chunks of asiago cheese to clear the grinder, and add extra flavor!
NOTE : if you don't have a food gringer, well get one! No, not really, if you don't have a food grinder you can use ground chicken. Its in the chicken section of your grocery. If you can't find it ask the butcher, maybe they can grind some for you. If using ground chicken, marinate it for 30 min max (more surface area=quicker marinade), dice onions after browning & mix in with chicken.
Lay out 1 sheet of filo. Spread with melted butter to cover surface - a very thin layer is fine. Repeat until all filo has been layered.
Spread chicken mix in center of filo, long ways covering 1/3 of the dough.
Top chicken with sliced tomatoes and feta cheese. Fold the sides of filo over the top of the chicken/tomato/cheese layer, leaving a 2 in opening in the center.
Bake at 400* on a heavy baking sheet for about 25 min. Chicken layer should have an internal temp of 160* and outside should be golden brown & delicious (GBD). Allow to cool about 5 min before slicing & devouring.
When I made this I instantly thought Geeze wheres my sauce??? I LOVE sauce! Unfortunately I didn't have ingredients on hand to make it that day. I do highly recommend serving this with the sauce, it would add the missing final touch. Since I didn't make the that day I don't have photos of it to share with you. Sorry about that!
strain plain yogurt in a sieve lined with either a tea towel or coffee filters. Stir up yogurt & pour into strainer. Put a bowl under strainer & allow to drain for 8 hrs to overnight. This will drain off the whey from the yogurt, producing a thicker cheese like texture. Add herbs, garlic, cucumber & S&P, mix well. That's it :-)