As summer ends and life gets back to its normal, hectic pace, it's good to have a couple tricks for getting dinner on the table without too much trouble.
This Mediterranean chicken and artichoke potpie has a golden filo pastry crust that envelops a lemony filling of chicken, feta cheese, convenient canned artichoke hearts and rice. For the chicken, you can use leftovers, the meat from a store-bought rotisserie bird, or simply poach three or four chicken breasts.
Best of all, you can assemble the potpie when you have time, say on a Sunday, and have an effortless meal ready when you need it.
You can cover the unbaked pie and refrigerate for a day or two. Just add 10 minutes to the baking time when you're ready to cook it. You can also wrap the pie tightly in foil and freeze for up to three months. When ready, unwrap the still-frozen pie and prepare as indicated in the recipe, adding 15 to 20 minutes to the baking time.
Mediterranean chicken and artichoke potpie
Start to finish: One hour,
10 minutes (30 minutes active)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3/4 cup uncooked converted white rice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1-1/2 cups water
14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained
3 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
6 large (14x18-inch) sheets thawed filo dough
6 tablespoons butter, melted
In a medium saucepan over medium, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and lightly browned, three to five minutes.
Add the rice, lemon juice, salt, pepper and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover and simmer the rice until tender and it has absorbed all the liquid, 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Gently squeeze any excess liquid from the artichoke hearts, slice thinly and add to the rice. Add the chicken, feta, oregano and lemon zest. Stir to combine thoroughly.
Keeping the sheets of filo dough in a single stack, cut them in half crosswise to make 12 pieces. Cover the pieces with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying as you work.
Brush the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter. Brush the top of a piece of filo with butter and set it in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with five more pieces of filo. Spread the chicken and rice filling in an even layer over the filo. Top with six more pieces of buttered filo.
Bake the pie for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the filo is crisp and golden. Let stand for five minutes to cool, then cut into squares to serve.