Slow-cooked chicken and pomegranate pies

  • medium
  • 4
  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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Rukmini Iyer's luxurious filo chicken pie recipe is packed with flavour from pomegranate molasses and earthy walnuts. She serves these mini pies with a fragrant coriander chutney to cut through the sweetness of the sticky pomegranate.

First published in 2015

These chicken thighs, slow cooked in pomegranate molasses until it falls apart like pulled pork, make a wonderfully rich pie filling. Here I’ve suggested making a filo pastry shell, but you could just as easily use puff or home made olive oil shortcrust to make hearty, warming picnic pasties. Any leftover chicken filling is also fantastic warmed up in tortillas with sour cream for emergency late night snacking.

You will need 4 x 10cm mini pie dishes.




Chicken and pomegranate filling

To assemble the pies

Coriander chutney (optional)


Preheat your oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Place the walnuts on a baking tray in a single layer, then toast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes before leaving to cool down completely
Heat the olive oil and half of the butter in a large frying pan and add the chicken thighs. Brown them well for 3–4 minutes on each side until nicely golden brown, then remove and place in a casserole dish
Add the remaining butter to the frying pan, add the onions and cook on a medium-high heat for 10 minutes until golden brown, stirring occasionally
Lower the oven temperature to 150°C/gas mark 2
Transfer the onions to the casserole dish and add the chicken stock, pomegranate molasses, sugar and a good pinch of salt and pepper
Using a rolling pin or food processor, blitz the nuts to a fine powder then add them to the casserole dish. Stir well, then cover the dish and transfer to the oven for 2 hours
Once the chicken is cooked, shred the meat with 2 forks (as you would with pulled pork) and stir in the whole pomegranate seeds. Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper
At this stage, you can cool and refrigerate the filling and complete the pies the next day. If continuing to make the pies the same day, increase the oven temperature to 200°C/gas mark 6
Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small pan. Generously brush the inside of the pie dishes with the melted butter, then line each dish with half a sheet of filo pastry, gently pushing it into the edges
Butter the pastry on the inside, then repeat with 2 more layers of filo, leaving the extra pastry overlapping outside the dish
Place 3–4 heaped tablespoons of the chicken filling into the pie, then layer by layer, fold the filo pastry back over the filling, buttering each layer as you go
Butter the top of the pie, then make the remaining pies using the same process. Transfer the pies to the oven and bake for 20–25 minutes until golden brown and crisp
Meanwhile, make the coriander chutney. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor, blitz until smooth and adjust the sea salt to taste. Serve alongside the hot pies

Having left a career as a lawyer to pursue her foodie passions, Rukmini went on to work at Tom Kitchin's The Kitchin in Edinburgh. She is now a food stylist, food writer and recipe developer based in London, and is the author of The Roasting Tin.

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