Chicken, Olive, and Preserved Lemon Pie Recipe

Flaky and crispy layers of phyllo pastry encase a bright and light filling completely different from any chicken pie you've had before.
October 5, 2020, 11:00am
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves 8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours


½ cup|75 grams blanched almonds, finely chopped
1 pound|450 grams bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
3 cups|750 ml chicken stock
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
½ cup|70 grams castelvetrano olives, smashed by hand
1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon crushed saffron threads
½ cup|20 grams minced cilantro
½ cup|25 grams minced dill
6 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 tablespoons|115 grams unsalted butter, melted
8 sheets phyllo dough
¼ teaspoon black sesame seeds
¼ teaspoon white sesame seeds


  1. Toast the almonds in a medium skillet over medium until fragrant and lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Place the chicken in a medium saucepan and cover with the stock. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and very tender, about 40 minutes.
  3. Using tongs, transfer the chicken thighs to a bowl until cool enough to handle. Discard the chicken bones and shred the meat. Add to the bowl with the almonds.
  4. Bring the reserved chicken stock to a boil and reduce to 1 cup|237 ml, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Wipe the saucepan clean and heat the oil over medium-high. Add the garlic and onion and cook until the garlic is golden and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in ½ cup|125 ml of the reduced stock and the saffron and cook until reduced, about 3 minutes. Stir in the olives and preserved lemon and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl with the almonds and shredded chicken. Cool completely, then stir in the remaining ½ cup|125 ml of the reserved stock, the herbs, and eggs. Season with the salt and pepper and set aside.
  6. Heat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter. Lay 1 sheet of the phyllo inside the pan, allowing the corners to hang over the edge, and grease with butter. Lay another sheet of phyllo and grease with more butter. Repeat twice more, then spread the chicken mixture over the phyllo. Top with another four layers of phyllo, grease with more butter. Add another layer of phyllo and grease with more butter, then spread the remaining chicken mixture over the top. Layer with 2 more sheets of phyllo, greasing each with butter. Fold all of the phyllo over and inside the pan and grease with more butter. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and bake until golden, about 35 minutes. Cool slightly, then serve.

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