Lemony Chicken Pies

Sara Kramer

Kismet, Los Angeles

Sarah Hymanson

Kismet, Los Angeles



  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound ground chicken, preferably dark meat
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 small leek, white and light green parts, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 bulb fennel, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, plus 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts


  • Half of a 16-ounce package phyllo pastry sheets (9 x 14-inch)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds


Make the filling: heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break it up, until chicken is browned and there is no more pink, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Transfer chicken and remaining juices to a medium bowl and set aside.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek, onion, fennel, garlic, bay leaf, marjoram, mint, and clove and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Add chicken and its juices, along with the lemon juice, zest, pine nuts, and salt, cook, stirring occasionally, until the moisture in the pan is mostly, but not entirely, evaporated, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

Assemble the pies: preheat oven to 375°F. Place a sheet of phyllo on a cutting board. Brush lightly with olive oil and top with a second sheet of phyllo, pressing gently to adhere. Brush with more olive oil. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut oiled phyllo into three 3-inch wide strips. Add about 2 tablespoons chicken mixture near 1 corner of a strip on the end nearest to you, then fold the other corner of the phyllo over the filling to enclose it and form a triangle. Continue folding, maintaining the triangle shape. Put triangle, seam-side-down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and top with sesame seeds. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling to make 10 pies.

Transfer the pies to the oven and bake until the phyllo is golden brown and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.


10 pies