A medley of warming spices, dried apricots and almonds gives this chicken pie a flavoursome twist.
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2.5cm/1in piece ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
4 tsp ground coriander
4 tsp ground cumin
40g/1½oz fresh coriander, stalks and leaves, chopped
20g/1oz flatleaf parsley, stalks and leaves, chopped
2 free-range eggs, beaten
75g/2¾oz peeled almonds, finely chopped
12 sheets ready-made filo pastry
100g/3½oz unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp caster sugar, mixed with 1 tbsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp flaked almonds, for decorating
Preheat the oven to 180C/365F/Gas 4.
For the chicken, place the chicken thighs into a large pan with the onion, lemon zest, orange zest, cinnamon stick, coriander, garlic and ginger. Cover with water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and gently poach for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the stock and set aside until cool enough to handle. Discard the skin and shred the meat into thick strips. Set aside.
Strain the poaching liquid into a clean pan, discarding the solids. Bring to the boil and cook until the volume of the liquid has reduced by three-quarters. Remove from the heat, then add the dried apricots and set aside to soak.
For the pie, heat the vegetable oil in a medium pan and gently fry the onion for 4-5 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic, ginger, ground turmeric, ground coriander and ground cumin and cook until aromatic.
Remove from heat and stir in the shredded chicken meat, fresh coriander and parsley. Moisten with about 400ml/14fl oz of the poaching stock, then stir in the eggs, almonds and soaked apricots. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
On a work surface, layer the filo pastry, brushing each sheet liberally with melted butter and sprinkling lightly with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
Use the layered filo pastry to line the base of a 22cm/8in buttered deep pie dish, leaving the excess filo pastry to overhang on the sides. Fill with the chicken mixture, then fold over the excess pastry to cover the pie. If the filling isn’t completely covered, add a few more sheets of buttered filo pastry over the top and tuck into the sides. Brush the top with more melted butter and sprinkle with more of the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds.
Bake the pie for 35-40 minutes, or until golden-brown and piping hot all the way through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly before serving.
For the okra, lightly toss the okra in the vegetable oil. In a bowl, combine the flour, chilli powder, ground cumin, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dredge the okra in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add enough vegetable oil to cover the base. Add the okra, in batches, and shallow fry for 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden-brown and crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
To serve, cut the pie into slices and arrange on six serving plates with the okra alongside.
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